Monday, May 7, 2007

PACEM Pen Park Picnic Pics

Yesterday we had our annual springtime celebration for all of the congregations, volunteers, local businesses, Board members and staff who made the past season of PACEM winter shelter such a success. Thanks to their combined efforts, we were able to provide 6,622 nights of shelter and over 15,000 meals to 237 different homeless individuals from Nov. 2006 through Mar. 2007. We averaged 47 homeless guests per night this winter, up from 32 the winter before.

Despite the blustery weather, everyone appeared to have a great time at yesterday's picnic, and I thought I'd share some of the pictures here. Many thanks to The Undercovers for providing excellent musical accompaniment to the festivities (including a wonderful rendition of "California Stars" by Billy Bragg & Wilco -- one of my all-time favorite songs!).

The Undercovers, doin' their undercover thing.

During the winter, volunteers in a PACEM serving line are usually serving food to the homeless. Yesterday, we turned the tables and served food to our volunteers to show them our appreciation for their efforts. On the right, PACEM Board Chair Skip "Mashed Potatoes" Mullaney works alongside Board Treasurer Elizabeth "Baked Beans" SaundersMorris to make sure all of our volunteers go home with full stomachs.

Here's PACEM Shelter Director Shea Johnson (left) and Guest Advocate/Volunteer Coordinator Adriana Nicholson (right), who somehow survived another winter of shelter with their sanity and wits still intact...well, mostly.

Many thanks to the Virginia Discovery Museum for loaning us their "Bumpa-Bouncer" -- it was a big hit with the younger set!

PACEM, you see, is all about sheltering people from the cold -- here, Michael Kelley (of the Islamic Society of Central Virginia) tries to shield Elizabeth Breeden (of TJMC Unitarian-Universalist) from a gust of chilly wind.

Good food and good fellowship carried the day.

Please visit our PACEM website if you want to learn more about our organization, or if you'd like to make an on-line donation to support our year-round efforts to provide "A Pillow for Every Head" to those who are without.

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