Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Welcome to The Bonds!

The Bonds have traveled to Dallas from London to volunteer at The Stewpot for three months. They arrived this weekend and have already impacted us in a great way! We're grateful to them for their time, and we're excited for the next three months! Here's a little update on their first few days in our city.

Although very excited, we were initially rather nervous about arriving in Dallas, and about starting our 3 month stint as volunteers with The Stewpot. However, we have been overwhelmed by the welcome we have received. We have been very kindly welcomed into the home of our first "host", The Stewpot, and the church - all within a very short space of time. We have also been taken to a number of social events. One such event was the celebration on Memorial Day at Flag Pole Hill where we listened to a concert by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. This was very special, and we were very happy to be a part of this celebration. Everybody has been very kind and helpful, and as we have so much to learn - we hope you will bear with us as we acclimatise ourselves to our new surroundings and work - and the heat, too! Any guidance, advice, and corrections are most welcome at any time, and we look forward to spending the summer with you. Thanks for having us!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Memorial Day Fun

The Stewpot Artists will be showing their work at the CityArts Festival at Fair Park and will be part of ArtFest - a juried art show that is part of the CityArts festival.  There are lots of fun things to do in addition to the art show, so check out CityArts.  It is FREE admission, although parking is $10 inside Fair Park.  Come on out and enjoy the day before it gets too hot around here.

Festival Dates: 
Friday, May 25: 6PM-10PM
Saturday, May 26: 11AM-10PM
Sunday, May 27: 11AM-5PM

"Cleansing Waterfalls" by Mero

"Paradise" by Leon Pollard

Thursday, May 10, 2012

One Day Without Shoes

Students, teachers and visitors at Greenland Hills Preschool participated in One Day Without Shoes on April 10th that has become a worldwide event created to educate on the needs of children around the world. Students spent the day learning about children around the country and world live, passing out information about the importance of shoes for our health, and collecting new and gently used children's shoes for the The Stewpot. It was a wonderful day of learning and service at school!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Push 2 Save

Amidst the hubbub of people at The Stewpot "taking a load off", waiting for services, sleeping on the floors, or just hanging out, Thomas is waiting to hear his name called on the intercom. He heard about a way to get a phone number from a guy sitting next to him at breakfast this morning at the Second Chance Café, and has now signed up to receive one.

What is this "free" phone number thing? He has been living in a shelter for the past couple of weeks and along with looking for a call center customer service job like he used to have, he is desperate to re-establish contact with his mother and brother but doesn’t want them knowing his living situation. He is clean-cut, with some college under his belt, and is trying his best to stay positive. He never in his life expected to be living in an emergency shelter. They call his name. The smiling caseworker carrying a large white binder leads him into an office and proceeds to fill out an information page about him. After finding an available number in the binder the caseworker shows Thomas a page of suggested messages to record.

He chooses this one: "Hello, you have reached Thomas ____. I am not home at the moment, but if you will leave your name and phone number, I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks, and have a great day."

That's IT!

The caseworker leaves Thomas a sample message for him to practice retrieving with his password: "Hi Thomas, I just wanted to congratulate you on getting a new phone number - your message sounds great! Remember to share this number with important people in your life - family, friends, social workers, workforce centers or doctors, and on job or housing applications. Take care!" That's when the smile creeps across his face. He pushes 2 to save the message. He is connected. 

The Stewpot is a place for homeless citizens to receive services and get some respite from the great outdoors. One of the services offered is Community Voice Mail, a national program geared towards keeping people living in poverty, transition and homelessness connected with broadcast resources, jobs hotlines, housing information and most important, hope and dignity. Last year, the Dallas Community Voice Mail office reported 278 client goals met.