Safe Haven Shelter News

Why I Believe It Is Time For GNUUC To End Its Volunteerism at Safe Haven

It’s a bittersweet decision, but I have decided it is time after 27 years to let go of our volunteer dinner commitment at Safe Haven Family Shelter.  We have partnered the entire time with First UU Nashville (FUUN).

It has become increasingly harder to find volunteers who can take food to the shelter near downtown Nashville for a 6 pm dinner.  In hopes of building a contact list of 10-12 people to be regular volunteers, I recently sent out 18 emails to individuals, asking if they were interested in being a volunteer. Only 5 people said they could volunteer.  

Our experience this month was, in a way, not unusual.  One volunteer had bought her food but was not feeling well on Tuesday.  She made arrangements for the other volunteer to pick up her food.  The second volunteer, at the last minute, needed to transport her young children with her.  She managed to take all of the food to the shelter, where she dropped it off.  The volunteer from FUUN served the meal by himself.

This decision does impact FUUN.  I expect they will continue their volunteerism, at least for a while.

We have made a significant contribution over the years; I estimate we have provided over 5600 dinners.

If someone else or another committee would like to take over as volunteer coordinator, I am willing to offer support.  There are also many opportunities to volunteer with other programs at Safe Haven.  Individuals at GNUUC might be willing to be on FUUN’s contact list of volunteers for Safe Haven.  There may be a need to address homelessness in the Bellevue area.  And we can continue to support Room in the Inn.

Therefore, I suggest that we finish this year by serving our final dinner at Safe Haven on Tuesday, November 21.  Please let me know if you can help.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who have spent time and money preparing good food, braving rush hour traffic, and navigating the maze of one-way streets, often blocked by trains, to find the shelter on 3rd Ave S, in order to bring a bit of cheer to a homeless family.


Mary Hinton