Sponsoring Friday Night Life
Would you consider organizing a group of 7-14 people to sponsor
of our Friday Night Suppers this year?
WE NEED YOU!
Intentionally building COMMUNITY
for and with people from all walks of life!
Friday Night Life began in the spring of 1993 initially as an effort to keep in touch with people who had formerly stayed in the Timothy House. Over time, it has evolved into a community event–providing social and nutritional food for people in our community who face food insecurity and who often live in food deserts. FNL is also a place for people from all walks of life to build trust, make friends and experience a loving community. We all experience periods of loneliness and distress in our lives and FNL is a safe place for anyone to come and experience a loving and accepting community.
Every Friday night, a community of about 120-150 people gather from 4:30-7:30 pm. Some are current and former residents of The Timothy House, some are students and some are individuals and families who grew up in Athens County. We all gather for a sit-down, family style healthy and tasty meal followed by music, health education, poetry readings, kids club, concerts, prayer groups, bible studies and a wide range of different community building activities. At 7:30 pm. individuals and families who sign up ahead of time can receive “take-home” food.
From October through March this event is held in the Family Life Center of the The Plains Methodist Church. The people of TPUMC has agreed to work in partnership with Good Works by sharing their facility with us each week. Transportation is provided from Central Avenue to The Plains each Friday.
From April through September we hold Friday Night Life at the Good Works Luhrig Road property in a picnic style. Before and after supper, adults and children can play volleyball, basketball and enjoy the large outdoor space of the Good Works property. The vision of Friday Night Life is to provide physical, social and spiritual nutrition. In other words, we aim to build community and to break the socio-economic class barriers so often present in our society.
As you consider what you might do to encourage and support those who are struggling with poverty in our community, would you consider sponsoring ONE Friday Night meal this year?
What Does a Volunteer Sponsor Do?
- Plan and prepare dinner for up to 120-150 people. As a sponsor, you provide the food. If you’d like to sponsor but can’t afford to purchase the food, contact us. We may be able to help you to locate food for your group to prepare and bring to the dinner.
- A good size for your sponsor group is between 7 and 14 people—fewer than 7 will make it a lot of work, and more than 14 is overwhelming for those of us who host the meal.
- Plan to arrive at the site (either The Plains United Methodist Church or the Good Works Luhrig Road property) by 4:00pm and plan to stay until 8:00pm. Our Friday Night Life Coordinator will give you a tour of the kitchen and answer any questions you may have during the evening.
- While Friday Night Life begins at 4:30 pm, the actual supper doesn’t start until about 5:30 pm. If some of your food will take longer than one hour to prepare, please prepare the food at your own location and bring it with you to be re-heated.
- Everyone who comes to help with Friday Night Life is expected to sit down and eat with the folks who attend. In fact, your interaction with our guests is the most significant part of your time there. Friday Night Life is a chance for the normal, everyday barriers between people of different ages, social classes, and backgrounds to be overlooked. Indeed, Friday Night Life is intentionally designed to bring together two groups of people who don’t get together often enough: The ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots.’
- There are all sorts of ways to interact: You can begin by just sitting down and listening, waiting to be invited into the conversation. Offering to get something to drink for someone or introducing yourself to someone who is sitting at a table by themselves is another way of interacting. Talking with people by inviting them to assist you in some way with the supper is another. Be creative! In most cases, it is better to do something with someone than it is to do something for someone.
- Please ask one our guests attending the supper to help you in some way and open up a new friendship. Many people who have been coming to Friday Night Life for years expect and want to help in some way. It is important for you as volunteers to make the effort to include others with you as you set up, prepare the food and clean up. Our philosophy is that everyone needs to feel needed and everyone has something to give, if only their time.
- Clean up is usually finished between 7:15 and 7:30pm. Since we always give away the leftover food at the end of the evening, it is a good idea to bring some plastic ziplock bags (gallon and/or quart size) or disposable containers with you so people can take food home.
- After clean up, sponsors are expected stay for the debriefing session from 7:30-8pm. We want to hear from you about your experience at FNL. We also want to dialogue with you about how to love our neighbors here in SE Ohio. Your participation is vital to our desire to constantly improve our mission to help those who are experiencing issues of poverty and homelessness.
- Click here for feedback from our Volunteer Sponsors.
- Click here to read an article about the philosophy behind Friday Night Life.
For More Information…
To schedule a date and to receive more information, email us or Sherilyn Weinkauf at (740) 594-3339. She will tell you the available dates when you call and then send you some information in the mail to prepare you and explain how the supper operates.