H4H - Santa Monica

Please join us for a fulfilling experience with the Santa Monica Hearts Ministry helping those in need! Travel with us the last Saturday of every month to the OPCC Facility in Santa Monica located at 503 Olympic Blvd. (on the corner of 5th Street). We meet at the AMC parking lot at 7:00 am and depart promptly at 7:15 am. We return about noon or a little after. At OPCC, we team with the Hand to Hand ministry of the Agape Church of Culver City, helping them serve hot lunches to our guests. Hand to Hand likewise helps the AMC with additional donated clothing as well as helping sort and man the clothing “stores” portion of the AMC ministry.

Upon our arrival, we must quickly sort and size the donated clothing as well as individualize the NEW socks and razors that will be given out. We also need to organize and sort the donated hygiene items which we offer to our guests. Two of our volunteers are needed to man the Cocoa Table which we offer during this first phase of the ministry.

The OPCC facility is not large enough to handle all the guests which number anywhere from 200 to 250 individuals. Therefore, queue numbered tickets are given out to all the guests, and they are accommodated through the clothing stores in groups of 15 to 20 at a time. This first phase of the ministry lasts from about 8:00 am to 9:15 am.

The next phase of the ministry involves us helping our team partners Hand to Hand in hosting and serving our guests hot lunches. The clothing “stores” area must be broken down and tables and chairs set up for the hot meal service. The volunteers serve as hosts and greeters in seating the guests, and serving them coffee and lemonade. The hot lunches are then served to each guest. As the facility can only accommodate 80 guests at one seating, the preceding process must be repeated usually for 3 settings to accommodate all. The guests are welcomed for lunch in order of their ticket numbers previously given out.

The hot meals are provided by the Hand to Hand ministry, utilizing the St. Vincent’s Hospital of Los Angeles facility. The meals arrive at OPCC in stacks of 10 trays/plates high, with each plate being the lid for the next. The trays include a full meal with bread & butter, salad & salad dressing, entree with potatoes or rice, vegetables and a dessert. Quality of life items (depending on availability) are given out also during each lunch seating, such as black plastic bags (used for the guests’ possessions), military style can openers, dog or cat food for pets, additional razors, donated magazines and books, etc.

After the last lunch seating is complete and all guests have left the facility, the tables and chairs are wiped down and put back into storage. The aim is to have all completed by about 11:45 am, and then on our way home.

Volunteers of all ages are welcome, but parents must accommodate younger children. The AMC Sunday Bulletin will announce the specific date of this ministry the Sunday before each last Saturday of the month occurrence. Any deviations or schedule changes for a particular Saturday will be noted, so please see Bulletin announcements. Please also note that parking is on the street (generally 5th or 7th Street), and is metered at $1.00 per hour, so bring your quarters! Metered time does not begin until 9:00 am however.

American Martyrs provides hygiene products, new socks, and razors for the guests, as well as the donated clothing we collect. Note that the Santa Monica ministry generally sees a larger number of men, so the need is greatest for men’s clothing especially jeans and under wear in large sizes. Some women’s clothing is also needed. If you would like to donate, a broad spectrum of items below are suggested:

  • Men’s Jeans/new or gently used
  • New Men’s underwear
  • Towels and wash clothes
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • New white athletic/sweat socks (Costco good source)
  • Hygiene products (travel or hotel size) from Target or Big Lots including but not limited to:
    • Deodorant
    • Shampoo and Conditioner
    • Lip Balm/Chap Stick
    • Hand and body Lotions/Skin Moisturizers
    • Sunscreen
    • Dental Floss
    • Shaving Cream and Razors
    • Bars of Soap
    • After Shave Lotion
    • Nail Clippers and Emory Boards
    • Umbrellas/Ponchos
    • Small Flashlights
    • Blankets
    • Gently used clothing, especially Men’s
    • Reading Glasses
    • First Aid supplies including Band Aids, etc.