NDA Volunteers Prepare Meals, Serve, Do What Is Needed at St. John’s Homeless Shelter

NDA Volunteers Prepare Meals, Serve, Do What Is Needed at St. Johns Homeless Shelter

James Bosco, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Campus Minister Dan Kriegl is an avid volunteer at St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter in downtown Green Bay.  He often takes NDA student volunteers on Saturdays for four-hour shifts.

A service trip to Chicago’s Darst Homeless Center reminded Mr. Kriegl of the importance of service in your own community.  After returning to the Green Bay area, he immediately began searching for volunteer opportunities.  After a brief search, St. John’s presented itself as the right choice.  

When students arrive at St. John the Evangelist Shelter, they are greeted by a coordinator who gives them a brief history on the shelter and organizes the students into groups to begin working.

Some tasks include cleaning, cooking food for the guests, sorting donations and, around holidays, decorating the shelter.  On any given night the shelter hosts up to 100 guests.

In addition to helping maintain the facility, NDA students provide one meal a month for the guests. According to Mr. Kriegl, “I am blessed to consistently be at the meals, but bringing God’s love and giving them some joy is truly the most rewarding.”  

In partnership with Mr. Kriegl, as well as Student Government who prepares meals for the shelter, senior Andrew Gruesen has been involved in service at the homeless shelter.

Gruesen said, “Overall I just wanted to give back to my community. I had heard from older students how amazing the experience was, and so I was very excited when I was old enough to serve.”

Gruesen is not a stranger to volunteer work. He volunteers at many organizations and received the school service award as a junior.

“I would highly recommend St. John’s to anyone who is old enough,” said Gruesen. “It is amazing to match a face to what homelessness really looks like in Green Bay.”

On top of the emotional rewards you get for helping the people at St. John’s, Gruesen also noted the guests are some of the nicest and most thankful people he has ever met.

If you are interested, there are a few requirements you must meet before volunteering. You must be 18 years old, contact Mr. Kriegl or St. John’s, and be willing to donate your time on weeknights and weekends.

Another way to help out would be to make a meal for the 100+ residents of St. John’s. A sign-up sheet is located in the Campus Ministry Office or you could contact Student Government advisers Frau Jen Laaksonen, Senora Crystal Dory, Señora Caitlin VandenWyngaard or Ms. Holly Strong.