Volunteer Spotlight: Vincent Wilkerson and Whole Foods Market
March 13, 2017
Vincent Wilkerson came to Philadelphia during the days when this beautiful building was sitting vacant. He remembers walking by and noticing the new life coming through its doors when it reopened in 2005. Unbeknownst to Vincent at the time, years later he would become one of Broad Street Ministry’s most reliable, regular volunteers for our Mail Service.
After retiring, Vincent decided to use his time to go back to college to study Theology. Upon graduating from Eastern University last spring, Eric Flett, a BSM congregant, member of the Brain Trust and Professor at Eastern University, recommended BSM to Vincent. When Vincent came for Worship he found a way he could channel his newfound energy, time and skills: through volunteering.
As many of our volunteers find a specific BSM service they connect with, Vincent’s niche is the Mail Service. He loves seeing the impact the mail has on our 3,200+ guests that utilize the service. Vincent enjoys starting his Monday and Tuesday mornings greeting our guests at the mail table, and passing over the important documents, family letters, and much awaited packages.
Vincent is a great beacon of the connectedness of the BSM community. His penchant for the Mail Service is a great example of how everyone belongs here in their own way. BSM invites others, like Vincent, to find their way through our doors to discover why they belong here too.
Broad Street Ministry is proud to Spotlight Whole Foods Market, with special attention to the South Philadelphia Store. The Whole Foods team has come in to volunteer with us four times since this past Fall, totaling over 53 volunteers! They have also featured BSM as the recipient organization for their 5% Day event the past December. Several times a year, stores hold community-giving days (otherwise known as “5% Days”) where five percent of that day’s net sales are donated to a local nonprofit or educational organization. Whole Foods South Street was able to raise over $6,000 for BSM with this initiative.
Here’s a message from the Whole Foods Team:
Two of the eight core values here at Whole Foods Market that best sum up why this has been a win-win partnership are a) to serve and support our local and global community and b) to satisfy, delight, and nourish our customers. From the first time we visited Broad Street Ministry and we heard you preach about radical hospitality we were hooked. Then we served and talked with many guests throughout the breakfast service and saw firsthand why this place is different from many other places a lot of us had volunteered with over the years. This is not a soup kitchen where food is limited and dietary restrictions can’t be met. This a free meal for all who attend, where guests are seated at set tables and served. They can sit back and relax for maybe the only part of their day and have a “regular” experience that you or I often take for granted. This is a place they can depend on to get something to eat no matter what, even if they need a gluten free or vegan option – one less thing in their lives they need to be unsure about, sometimes maybe the only thing. Compassion and service are at the heart of what we do at Whole Foods Market which is why this has been such a successful relationship for us.
Another aspect of Broad Street Ministry that spoke to us was the involvement with Federal Donuts and your lovechild, Rooster Soup Company. The entire concept of using food “waste” to create a product where 100% of the proceeds benefit the amazing work you all do… we are speechless to find a word that truly encapsulates how awesome it all is.
A huge thank you to the folks at Whole Foods for all the ways you support BSM!
Announcing The 1st ever Volunteer summit!
As you know, BSM has been in a state of transition for several years. From changes in leadership to additional meals and services, we continue to evolve as the needs of our community evolve. We are GRATEFUL that our volunteers have been flexible and patient with us through these changes.
In the spirit of inclusivity and transparency we’re creating an evening when BSM staff will be able to share our current needs, opportunities for support, and even answer questions that you might be pondering. We hope this evening will be a chance to celebrate all the good work being done together, participate in a fun activities, and express our gratitude. It’s no accident that this Summit is being planned for April 26th during our favorite week—Volunteer Appreciation Week! Stay tuned for details in your inbox!