PIQUA — The Bethany Center is seeking volunteers to help with their nightly cold shelter so they can open it for this winter.
The center, which is located at 339 South St. in Piqua, is working on gathering volunteers who can spend the night at the center so they can open their cold shelter during the winter to those in need of a warm place to stay the night, get a snack and something to drink, and even take a shower if desired.
“We need two people at least (per night),” Wilma Earls, director of the Bethany Center, said. With two people, the nights “will be less strenuous,” Earls said. Each person can take turns resting. There will be a bed and blanket provided for the volunteers as well.
Earls was able to open the cold shelter last year, but she needs to have enough volunteers planned ahead before she opens it again this year.
“It was a definite need … We’ve had some pretty cold winters,” Earls said. “We still had quite a few people come in.”
Volunteers from St. Mary and St. Boniface Catholic Churches also started a campaign to find more volunteers to spend the night at the center so they can provide a cold shelter to those in need.
“There’s a need,” volunteer Diane Mengos said.
Volunteer duties include staying overnight at the Bethany Center from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and welcoming guests to the two sleeping areas — one for men and one for women and children. Volunteers also show the guests where the cafeteria is located, where there is coffee, snacks, and breakfast foods. There are also shower facilities available for guests if desired.
“It’s not scary,” Mengos said, adding that the facility is safe and has not had any issues whenever they have been able to open the cold shelter. “Most people get some sleep.”
Mengos encouraged people to consider volunteering at the center.
“I think they would be blessed by this,” Mengos said.
For more information or to volunteer, call the Bethany Center at (937) 615-9762 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays or between 1-7 p.m. on Fridays.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org