A little bit about the position of "Co-Pilot"
We like to meet up at Barbara's (our founder and driver) house at 6PM (PDT) for the first time going out as co-pilot. After that, between 5-5:15/6-6:15pm is fine. That way you can meet us, see the process of loading up the car with the soup and other supplies, and have the co-pilot responsibilities explained to you. We shoot for the actual departure time to be as close to 5:30/6:30pm as possible, and not before then. Often, the first time out for someone takes longer with the added initial training and slower serving time.
A few suggestions for your first night as co-pilot and soup server:
1. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes... you will be getting in and out of the car a lot and doing some walking on city sidewalks.
2. Bring layers as it can get chilly as the sun goes down, and we drive with at least the 2 front windows open. This is helpful in spotting people on the street, as well as allowing us to talk to anyone. If it is raining, you will get wet!
3. Bring a bottle of water or juice and something else to snack on or eat, as this is most likely your dinnertime as well. We try not to eat the soup meant for the homeless! We will be out and about for at least 3 hours. We stay out till the soup is gone, or, after the usual route is complete and we have done our due diligence to find others on the way back to Barbara's and in the general area of this base to serve whatever is left. (There is nothing as sad as coming back with leftovers and it has not been done for months).
4. Bring an open mind and a sense of humor!
5. Please be on time, especially the first night, it takes a bit of time to prepare for the delivery and we have folks waiting for us. There is no timetable for our route, other than start time. Each trip can be unique. Not only do we serve a hot homemade meal, but we also distribute supplies to those needing them. When coming in touch with those that are new on the streets, or those that have not had anything to eat for some time, we spend one-to-one time with them in the hope of making their transition easier, if that is possible, or waiting with them as they eat, to make sure they are ok and do not need medical attention. These encounters add to the time we are out there. Please do not have some time where you have to be home. We ask that all co-pilots be flexible enough to cover these special circumstances in order to be of maximum help. These times can end up being the most rewarding to our volunteers as well.
We will train you on your first night, and provide you with other tips & pointers (and surgical gloves for serving). It is “on the streets” training, so there can be a lot of critique throughout the evening, and at times, urgency in the tone. Please, do not take anything personally. If you do feel like your toes have been stepped on please, when you can and out of others’ earshot, mention it to your trainer, what and how that happened. Don't just hold it in. The outcome will be much better for both of you that way.
Happy Volunteering :)
Berkeley (California, United States)
- Hearst Ave, Berkeley
- 5 hours
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