Volunteers are always needed and greatly appreciated!
Volunteers are the heart of IHN of Greater Knoxville; without volunteers our network cannot exist. Volunteers interact with our guests and treat them with respect and compassion.
Other volunteer opportunities include:
Any talent you can share or gift you make makes a difference in changing the lives of our guests, and helping them become self sufficient.
Important Documents for Volunteers and Host Congregations
For more information on volunteering, please contact our Executive Director, Joyce Shoudy, or call (865) 584-2822.
Volunteer Roles and Responsibilities for IHN
The success of the Family Promise of Knoxville' core program, the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) depends on the efforts and enthusiasm of hundreds of volunteers. Volunteers perform the variety of tasks necessary to provide a safe and comfortable temporary home for our guests. Volunteers express their hospitality by interacting with guests, treating guest families with dignity and respect, and showing genuine concern for their well-being. Without volunteers, there would be no Network.
Each host week, the host congregation needs about 50 volunteers from the host and associated support churches to prepare meals, serve as evening and overnight hosts, coordinate activities, organize supplies, and assist guests as needed. Although most volunteers are adults, youth can participate too, particularly with arranging activities for young children and helping older children with schoolwork.
Volunteer Coordinators support volunteers and serve as program/volunteer coordinators for their congregation involved in the Family Promise Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) program. Each host and support congregation has a primary coordinator with the responsibility for managing host week. In many congregations, several assistant coordinators manage specific responsibilities, such as meals, donations, supplies, and scheduling.
Coordinators serve as managers of the IHN program within their congregations. See the Guide For Volunteer Coordinators for more details on coordinator duties. They should communicate regularly with other volunteers to ensure that their host week runs smoothly. Volunteer hosts should report problems or unusual incidents to the primary coordinator for follow-up. Contact Joyce for the name of your church's Volunteer Coordinator.
Volunteer Host Opportunities
Volunteer hosts fill one or more of these roles during a host week. See the Guide For Volunteer Hosts for more details on the duties of host and support churches.
Dinner is a hot meal prepared at volunteer homes or in the host congregation's kitchen. It is served at the host church at 6:00 pm. Cooking dinner is a good opportunity for congregational groups, such as Bible study, women's circles, men's groups, and couple's groups-to get involved with IHNGK.
Dinner and Evening Hosts - 2 volunteers, 5:30 - 8:30 pm
These volunteers may be part of the dinner preparation team, or may arrive to eat with guests. Dinner hosts socialize with guests, welcome newcomers, and assist parents with children's needs. Dinner is informal. After dinner, hosts may conduct children's activities, help with homework, or assist a guest with a particular need.
Overnight Hosts - 2 volunteers, preferably a man and a woman, 8:30 pm - 7 am
Two overnight hosts spend the night at the host congregation facility. Overnight hosts spend time with guests, help older children with homework, and are available in case of emergency. They wake guests at 6:00 a.m. Some overnight hosts also prepare breakfast.
Breakfast Preparers - Possibly 1 or 2 volunteers, 6 - 7 am
On weekdays, breakfast is a quick, simple meal (e.g., cereal, muffins, toast, juice, coffee) because guests must be ready to leave on the van at 7 am. At some congregations, overnight hosts prepare breakfast. At other congregations, one or two volunteers arrive at 6:00 am, to prepare breakfast and clean up, allowing the overnight hosts to leave in time for work. Often, on weekends, breakfast is more relaxed and hosts prepare something more substantial, such as bacon and eggs, or pancakes.
Other Volunteer Opportunities