The Vital Role of Volunteers

Volunteers at Home of Hope are more than just helpers; they are the backbone of our operations – offering their time, skills and hearts to support those in need. From assisting with child care to helping with fundraising events and facility maintenance, each volunteer’s contribution is vital to our success. 

No one knows this better than Samantha Pryor, our Executive Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator.

Since joining Home of Hope in October 2019, Samantha has seen firsthand what makes this organization unique. With previous experience at other nonprofits, she knew she wanted to stay within the field but was drawn to Home of Hope for its distinct approach. 

“It’s not your average shelter,” said Samantha. “We are not a simple fix or just a nightly stay. We are program-based, and we’re here to help end homelessness.”

Her role at Home of Hope is diverse and dynamic, encompassing a little bit of everything: arranging meetings, recruiting and communicating with volunteers, driving residents to job interviews, inputting data, managing donor relations, handling telephone referrals and more.

Approaching her five-year work anniversary, Samantha has witnessed significant growth in the volunteer base. Finding enough volunteers for Kids Club used to be challenging, but now they are often at capacity before the end of the month. Currently, Home of Hope boasts a total of 390 volunteers, with a consistent 50-100 individuals serving regularly.

For those considering volunteering, Samantha emphasizes the importance of understanding and meeting the actual needs of the organization.

“Some people just want to help, but it’s important to keep in mind that we should support in a way that will best help the organization out,” she explained. 

A common misconception is that any donation is a useful donation. “Do you know how many people want to donate toiletry bags or used clothes?” Samantha asks,“If we kept taking all that in, we’d be full on a campus of almost 40 acres. It’d be nothing but all those items. People get really disappointed in that, but there are many reasons why those just aren’t our needs at the moment.” 

Samantha encourages all volunteers to be flexible and open to helping meet the organization’s tangible needs. She highlights Gwinnett Church as an exemplary partner who practices this well. 

“Gwinnett Church has been really good. Rachel Spain, who works there, makes a point to ask, ‘What do YOU guys need? Not what Gwinnett Church wants to do, but what’s going to better help Home of Hope out in the long run?’ That’s always stuck in my mind.”

At this time, the biggest volunteer needs at Home of Hope are providing meals for our families and donating cleaning supplies. If you’re interested in volunteering with Home of Hope please fill out the volunteer application on our website, or contact Samantha at [email protected]