“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” — Erma Bombeck

While no one volunteering at Gettysburg C.A.R.E.S., the area’s emergency homeless shelter for the winter months, does what they do for thanks or accolades, several people need to be singled out for an extra loud shout out as our seventh season in the community ends.

While the C.A.R.E.S. volunteer list includes 374 people, 100 people served as hosts at their respective churches and 107 people filled the overnight slots this past season, which ran from Oct. 8 to April 15. Out of those 107 over-nighters, 23 people filled 181 of those slots. This Honor Roll of overnight volunteers who arrived at local churches at 8 p.m. and left at 7 a.m. the next morning, included the following, with the number of nights they stayed in parentheses after their names: Shannon Harvey (17), Nina Dolly (14), JR Scappini (13), Linda Fauth (13), Mark Oldenburg (13), Tom Dolly (13), Petey Bender (13), Roy Fauth (12), Amy Beck (11), Bill Knowles-Kellett (11), Lois Steinour (10), Joe Reichl (9), Julie Stoltzfoos (9), Holly Purdy (7), Wanda Gallimore (7), Gerry Lohuis (6), Bill Steinour (5), Brian Woolsey (5), Daniel Long (5), Margie Maue (5), Sandy Busche (5), Todd Durboraw (5), and Virgil Gibson (5). An extra shout out goes to Dr. Chris Fee’s class on homelessness at Gettysburg College who completed the training and stayed overnight (11 students).

Another shout out needs to go to the 44 breakfast cooks who showed up every morning at 6:30 a.m. to cook and serve breakfasts. An extra shout out goes to the St. James Confirmation Classes (24 youth and six adults) who cooked and served every Sunday.

While the stand out volunteers singled out in this article went far above and beyond what might be asked of a volunteer, everyone who cooked a meal, hosted one night or more at a church, or stayed one night, contributed monetarily, helped to move the mats, or helped with the bi-weekly laundering of the blankets (super big shout out to the Falloons of North Gettysburg Laundry on the Biglerville Road who donated their facility, their washers,and dryers, as well washing supplies, for this endeavor) helped to make the 2018-2019 winter season a more bearable one for the homeless of our area.

Hitomi Shisome was our volunteer coordinator this past season and we are grateful that she has agreed to serve in this capacity again next season. If you would like to join the Gettysburg C.A.R.E.S. volunteer team next season, please contact Hitomi at gettysburgcarescoordinator@gmail.com.

Whether a Muslim, a Catholic, a Protestant, an agnostic, or whatever, if the definition of “Christian” used is the Merriam-Webster’s “treating other people in a kind or generous way,” the line from the popular hymn, “They will know we are Christians by our love, ” is evidenced by the service given by the Gettysburg C.A.R.E.S. volunteers. Thank you, Gettysburg Community.

Nancy Lilley is a former C.A.R.E.S. volunteer coordinator and a present C.A.R.E.S. Board member, as well as a present C.A.R.E.S. volunteer.

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