Volunteering at St. Clare’s Ministries leads to genuine friendships

Susan Jones is the St. Clare’s Ministries coordinator for Good Shepherd.


I would like to share some stories from St. Clare’s Ministries where I volunteer most Tuesday evenings, as I am chair of the Board of Directors. I have made genuine friends in the St. Clare’s community, and I want to share some of their stories with you.

I met “J” two years ago, and he is a tall man with a great smile. “J” is about 35 years old and he has had his up days and down days just like all of us. I saw him a few months ago, and he was very despondent. I asked Deacon Joe to speak with “J”, and Joe found out that “J”’s cousin passed away recently, so he was very sad. Also, “J”’s glasses had been broken, and he was able to get some new frames via St. Francis. I saw “J” a few weeks later, and he had a big grin on his face AND some new, stylish frames. “J” is now in a massage therapist training program as well as working a few part-time jobs. Tonight, “J” told me that he is working with his case manager to find a home so that he can offer his teenage daughter another option to that of living with her mother, and he asked for my prayers.

“S” is another friend, an artist and a lovely woman. We shared our divorce stories with each other earlier this year, and I feel a kinship with her. She told me last week that she is working to get permanent housing, but for the rest of November, she has a bed at a women’s shelter. “S” is smiling and proud, and I am so happy for her.

“C” will be interviewing for a housekeeper position at a large hotel tomorrow. He is very confidant and aware of how to interview and dress for the job. I was able to find him two pairs of black pants for this opportunity, and I look forward to hearing from him next week to hear that he “got the job.”

I met “Ja” two weeks ago, and we got to talking. “Ja” is a construction worker who grew up in the south. He told me that he recently lost his Bible – King James edition. So, I found a beautiful leather King James’ Bible at ARC, and I gave it to “Ja” this evening. He was in tears as he looked through his new Bible as well as the “Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning. “Ja” found an opportunity to work on a house that will be flipped, and the owner will let him live there as long as he is making contributions.

These are a few of my stories that I will remember fondly. I invite you to volunteer at St. Clare’s Ministries on the third Tuesday evening so that you can meet the guests and make your own connections and memories.

Please take a few minutes to watch our promotional video that was created this year by our intern, Anthony Suggs.

"The Meaning of Dignity"

I invite you to assist in this wonderful ministry in one of three ways.

1) Each month on the third Tuesday evening, Good Shepherd parishioners are invited to staff SCM and serve meals and drinks, wash the dishes, and distribute clean clothing, blankets and toiletries. If you would like to be added to this email list, please send me an email.

2) A hot, three course meal is served every Tuesday evening at St. Clare’s Ministries which serves from The Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Mary at 126 W. 2nd Avenue, Denver, CO 80223. You could sponsor one of the weekly meals for 150 guests for $200. You can make a donation in any amount to St. Clare’s Ministries with a check payable to: St. Clare’s Ministries, 126 West 2nd Avenue, Denver, CO 80223

3) Your tax deductible donations defray costs for SCM. Over 95% of our guests are men, so at this time, we ask only for men’s clean, gently-used clothing and items. Place your donations in the bin in the parish hall and be sure to complete a donation form including your full name and address so that we can send you a receipt and a thank you note.

a. Men’s jeans (size 28 – 34 waist)

b. Men’s boxer briefs (M – L)

c. Men’s v-neck or crew-neck undershirt (S-XL)

d. Men’s white or black socks

e. Rain gear, jackets, coats

f. Hats, ball caps

g. Shoes, boots – especially steel-toe boots

h. Backpacks, blankets, sleeping bags

i. Personal size toiletries – sunscreen, deodorant, toothbrushes/toothpaste

Thank you for your past donations, prayers, and assistance for the St. Clare’s guests. And let me know if you want to help with our efforts to offer a respite, clothing, meal, and worship service for the homeless or marginalized in the Baker neighborhood.