Tag Archives: volunteer

How You Can Help The Homeless Now

We are blessed to be part of a St. Charles County gem. Community Council acts as a clearinghouse for all health and social services for St. Charles County. The serve a critical role in identifying the homeless population and their needs. Here are two opportunities for friends of Sparrow
to help the broader community in St. Charles County.

Point In Time Homeless Count

January 25, 2012


Community Council is looking for volunteers to assist in the annual Point In Time Homeless Count for St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren Counties.

We need volunteers for the following:

-Assisting with the street count on Wednesday, January 25, 2012, between 8:30 am – 3pm. (New

volunteers will be required to attend a training session prior to count day).

-Phone calls to community organizations the week before, during, or after the count.
If you are able to contribute your time to this project, please send an email to Dottie Kastigar at:dkastigar@communitycouncilstc.org.

Click here for Homeless Count Sign-up Form.



Are you looking for a meaningful service project this January?   Perhaps your family, church, scouting or other service group is looking for something special to do on Martin Luther King Day (January 16).  If so, Community Council needs Care Packages to give fragile individuals that we encounter during the Annual Homeless Count on January 25.
It’s as easy as this: Collect items from the list below and put them into gallon zip-lock bags. One bag, or 20, will be welcomed. The bag should contain the following items:
• toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste
• travel shampoo
• small bar of soap
• deodorant
• wash cloth
• comb
• gloves (stretchy/one size fits all)
• socks (tube/large)
• bottle of water
• non-perishable food item (granola bar, cheez-its, pretzels, etc.)
All items must fit into one gallon size bag. Any care packages not distributed during the count will be shared with local shelters and service agencies.  The bags are needed by January 19th.  If you would like to help, please email your name and phone number to Sherry Saunders at  hmis@communitycouncilstc.org.


Part 2: God whispered “Nehemiah”

Priests to Perfume Makers

Nehemiah 3: 8-9 Uzziel son of Haraiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hanaiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that.

One of the most fascinating things to me about this passage is the diversity of the workers. Nehemiah inspired priests, goldsmiths, rulers of other districts, countrymen, and even a perfume maker to rebuild the wall . He cast such a vision that anyone with a heartbeat and hands could make a difference and significantly contribute. The passage that caught me up is found in Chapter 4 of Nehemiah. Verse 19 says Then I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”

This resonated so strongly for me. Our volunteers and workers mostly work independently. We don’t have  central location for every one to gather and meet, to hear the trumpet when they are attacked, or scared, or overwhelmed. But these are not things to hold us back. We have a common goal . We have common timeline. We have a common passion. We come from all walks of life. All levels of education. Gifts and talents and every sort of personality marks the identity of our phenomenal volunteer force. God has brought together a unique group of individuals into his vision for The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home.

Our tasks are spread out of a large time span. But I want our volunteers, our own wall builders to know that even though the work is extensive and spread out that you are doing an incredible work. Especially this coming fall, we have some tasks before us, primarily fully funding this vision, and YOU are key! You are building your legacy in your own Jerusalem just as Nehemiah did in 500 B.C.

A Thread of Gratefulness

two businessmen shaking hands

Thurgood Marshall
None of us has gotten where we are solely by pulling ourselves up from our own bootstraps. We got here because somebody bent down and helped us.

This week is just another typical week of people helping us find our way along this incredible journey.  We’ve had so many people offer services, offer advice, offer their prayers, offer donations, and even offer up their friends!

We just want to take a moment to thank a few. We won’t get everyone but we hope to make this part of our DNA of this organization, this thread of gratefulness.

We want to thank our volunteer Jimmy Teigen for organizing the Sparrow Club to support the Sparrow Scramble on October 1 at Mid Rivers Golf Links. We also appreciate Brett Kunin for being the first to sign up and offer so much excitement and encouragement.

We want to thank our volunteer Ember Figgins for being a fabulous committee chair in organizing the RUSH 5K on May 5, 2012. Her organization and hospitality is top notch.

We want to thank our fabulous board for coming together in prayer and determination. Kevin Thompson, Cesar Silva, Amber Teigen, Anne Schoch, Marla Stover, Sandra Wilhite, and David Trampe are amazing examples of heroes of faith. They have stepped out and offered to lead.

We want to thank Mike Trask from the St. Charles Business Journal for looking at us with different eyes and sharing our story with our community.

We want to thank Marcy Bursac of Shalom House for taking an entire morning to share her mission and so much sage advice for operating a non profit and serving the homeless.

We want to thank Drew Donahue from  AHM Financial Group for walking through our insurance needs and being such a source of encouragement.

And we want to thank Caleb Freeman from Freeman-Richards Consulting for taking our ideas and thoughts about our public image and making them into tangible beautiful ideas.

Whoever said there are no good people left on this earth on wrong. They just all happen to live right here in the St. Louis Metro Area.



Image by bkeepers via Flickr

I want you to get out your calendar. Because 364 days from today you will be sitting on the lawn of The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home no doubt sweating, drinking lemonade, eating ice cream sundaes, and listening to incredible live music as we celebrate the opening of The Sparrow’s Nest.

Can you just see it? Can you feel the excitement of that day? Can you imagine the faces of our neighbors? Can you see the face of the first girl walking through our doors?

But I can’t tell you the location yet. I can’t tell you the time. But I don’t want you to just hang. I need you to MOVE.

We have so much to accomplish in the next 12 month and we need all the help we can get. And I have to admit my fragility as an Executive Director. I cannot physically do this without you. I can’t be everywhere meeting with everyone that needs to be met. I can’t fill out every single piece of paper and file every license we need to get going. If this all falls on me we’ll miss the opportunity. We won’t be able to help as fast.

I need you to feel the urgency for efficiency and productivity. I need you to have the desire to build a quality organization based on biblical foundations. I need you to get fired up and answer the question “What Needs to Be Done?”

This isn’t sitting on the sidelines cheering us on. This is getting in, learning a lot. getting your hands dirty, leaping in and getting this thing done. This isn’t the time to worry about your age, or your money, or any other excuse. This is not waiting on me but it’s you rallying your community. It’s you getting the word out to your small group, your neighbors, your friends, your family and saying “this is what is going on, I think you might be the right person to help or to spear head this action.”

But this also isn’t the time to sit back and say this isn’t my gift or talent. Maybe this is the time when you answer that question that has been nagging your heart, “I want to do more, I’m just not sure what it is…” Maybe this is the time not to fall on your natural abilities but it’s time to take a leap of faith with us and say “Lord,  I don’t know what you’re doing to me but I trust you. Use me however you see fit even if it’s something I’ve never done before.”

Grow with us. Make an impact with us. There will be time next year to sit back and enjoy that glass of lemonade. Now it the time to MOVE.

Call me at 636-336-2534 or email carissa@thesparrowsneststl.org to volunteer. Let’s talk about what you can do.

It Isn’t Right That…

A year ago God opened my eyes to an injustice in my community. He boldly pushed me to fill in the sentence “It Isn’t Right That….” I can fill that in with so many wrong things in the world. Wrong things that leave me broken hearted. Issues like child abuse, poverty, and bad water sources, that can leave me feeling powerless and immobilize me to do anything about it.

In this season of my life I’m addressing the injustice that It Isn’t Right That Children Having Children Don’t Have A Safe Place To Stay. I’m not justifying these young women’s choices. I’m not trying to make it cool to be an unwed teen mother. But in my heart it is not right that a teen mom should be convinced that her only option is to abort her child or that if she chooses to parent her child that somehow that life should be one of burden and lost dreams. It’s just not right.There are worse things in life than an unplanned pregnancy

We are embarking on a whirlwind 12 months. We have so much to accomplish and we need your help. We need volunteers to step up and knock out some of these details that we need to be successful. We need volunteers to draft policy and procedure. We need volunteers to plan and staff events. We need volunteers to draft grant proposals. We need volunteers to make connections in the community and set up meetings with influential people.

God is doing amazing things in our community. You know you possess these skills to help us. Or  you know someone who does. Or you have a stirring deep within you that you want to do something more. You want to get in and make a difference. You’re just not sure what that is.

Mark your calendar today for Tuesday, August 16th for our next volunteer information meeting at 6:30 p.m. Bring a friend, bring your small group from church, send a representative from your civic group. Let’s get fired up and right this wrong now!

How would you finish the sentence “It Isn’t Right That…” What social injustice has God opened your eyes to this summer?

Toe Dipper or Cliff Diver?

Cliff diving with JT

Image by 4ELEVEN Images via Flickr

Are you a toe dipper or a cliff diver? Do you need to test the temperature of the water or do you jump in with both feet first? However you’re wired we can use you at The Sparrow’s Nest!

Things are rocking and rolling and we need more manpower to keep this momentum and keep moving us closer to opening and ultimately helping young girls and saving innocent babies lives. We need leaders as well as “doers.” These are specific tasks you can look back on in 30 years and tell your grandkids “I helped at the beginning to form The Sparrow’s Nest into what it is today.”

We’re pulling through our strategic plan and specific needs are starting to surface. The following list is very fluid and will be defined more clearly in the coming months. Send Carissa an email at carissa@thesparrowsneststl.org if you would like more information about certain needs. Just because you respond doesn’t mean we’re signing you up for life! 🙂  All of the committees that develop will either be led by a Board Member or will have board representation. Make sure to send these needs on to friends, family members, or community contacts whom you think might be better equipped for these jobs.

In all of these things continue to pray for The Sparrow’s Nest and for these tasks to be completed in a quick and timely manner and that they would be filled with integrity and honor.

facilities: Volunteers Needed to: Identify all codes, licenses, and ordinances required by state, county, and city to operate a residential treatment home for minors. Volunteers are also needed to help find a general site for the facility. Volunteers are also needed to develop procedure and policies for the management and upkeep of the property.

Residential Services: Volunteers are needed to develop policies and procedures for residential services for the girls and their babies. This would include developing plans for parenting and life skill curriculum, educational plans and expectations for the girls, intake, etc. This would also include developing medical plans as well as physician and hospital relations.

Personnel: Volunteers are needed to develop a expectations of staff that will be used to form job descriptions. Volunteers are also needed to help develop  a framework of human resource development and payroll.

Community Relations: Volunteers are needed to develop a community relations plan designed to support a continuing intentional relationship with the community. Volunteers are needed to act as liaisons with churches and civic groups and The Sparrow’s Nest. Volunteers are needed to develop and host periodic networking events to link comment and church resources together.

Marketing/Development: Volunteers are needed to develop and maintain general outreach material such as newsletters, flyers, brochures, videos, social media campaigns. Volunteers are needed to research and/or write grants for funding of The Sparrow’s Nest. Volunteers are needed to hold fundraising activities for raising general or specific funds.

Finance: Volunteers are needed to continue to develop and maintain systems and procedures for management of funds as well as review monthly statements. Volunteers are needed to complete all IRS requirements as well as annual report.

Administrative: Volunteers are needed for upkeep of database, developing office procedure, maintaining calendar and scheduling, writing thank you cards, organizing mailings.

Who set this schedule?

Calendar Module and iCal data

Image by m.gifford via Flickr

If you are looking for a place to plug in this is the week to jump feet first. We have one happening schedule!

Join our Golf Tournament Planning Committee tonight 6:30 p.m. Bread Co Clarkson/40.  Do you know more of golf than what Wii can teach? We need help planning our inaugural Sparrow Scramble for this fall. We need help securing sponsorships, promotion, marketing, and registration.

Tuesday 5:30 p.m. 5K Debriefing/Planning Meeting Email Carissa at carissa@thesparrowsneststl.org for location. We’ll be processing the success of this year’s 5K race with Bridgeway and starting to plan next year’s event.

Thursday 6:30 p.m. Meadows Pkwy Early Childhood Center Board Meeting. Curious how a non profit operates? So are we. Our board meetings are always open especially if you feel you have the passion, leadership, and experience to guide a fledgling organization .

And of course there’s this little matter of GIVE WINGS 30K in 30 DAYS. We are in our final week and we currently stand at just about $22,000. We have 8 days to raise the rest of our goal. If you’ve been holding out to see how close we get I would encourage you to donate today at http://www.thesparrowsneststl.org or snail mail to The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home ATTN: Book Keeper 911 Hampshire Heath Dr. O’Fallon, MO 63368