Serving in Bloomington (Part 2)

women homeless shelter bloomington

Serving in Bloomington (Part 2)

This piece was guest authored by Josie Rice, Community Outreach Coordinator for Wheeler Mission-Bloomington. Read on to learn how YOU can make a difference in Bloomington!

Join our ministry in Bloomington!

Wheeler Mission joined Bloomington 4 years ago to address the city’s need for homeless services. While we’ve been rooted in Indianapolis for 126 years, we’re in a season of growth and development as we adjust to the Bloomington community’s needs.

And we invite YOU to join us!

Many hands support Wheeler Mission. We join forces with organizations, faith communities, universities, individuals, and families. We can provide help and hope in Bloomington all because individuals—like you—are willing to serve our neighbors in need. We can’t do what we do without you! Here are just a few ideas to get you started.


Organizations, like Moe’s Southwest Grill, supply meals for Wheeler’s men, women, and children. Recently, Starbucks employees and Bloomington Montessori School students developed and expanded our donation organization system. There are many opportunities to collaborate with Wheeler. And bonus: volunteering as an organization improves employee engagement and inspires teams to action!

Faith Communities

We’re supported by a variety of faith communities, with each group supporting and loving our neighbors. Recently, Hope Presbyterian and Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) held a benefit concert and gave all proceeds to Wheeler Mission. Interfaith Emergency Winter Shelter also organized over 40 faith communities to faithfully volunteer at Wheeler throughout winter’s coldest months.


Indiana University is as an epicenter of our city, and volunteering enables IU students to leave campus and be immersed in the Bloomington community.

Jiexiang Zhao, an IU service-learning student, shared that, “Serving really made me feel like I came out of the campus and into the community. Since my first day here, I thought ‘Bloomington is beautiful, living here is very comfortable….’ But serving at Wheeler let me see the other side of Bloomington. I realized that there is a lot of suffering here, but there are also a lot of people, like you, working to solve social problems.”

Students have the opportunity to serve through service-learning classes, internships, campus outreach, and volunteer opportunities. Our staff has noted that the atmosphere is lightened and lifted by the presence of students, especially during meal service and at our hospitality desk.


Every individual has their own story, a gift, or a reason to serve at Wheeler Mission. Sister Anna, a High Impact volunteer, comes in weekly to teach the ladies at our Center for Women & Children-Bloomington how to quilt. The impact that one person can make on Wheeler’s staff, an individual guest, and the greater Bloomington community is almost unbelievable—and we get the opportunity to witness it every day!

(Every day, Josie–pictured–involves volunteers in Wheeler Mission’s ministry! To learn how YOU can get involved, email her today at!)

And there you have it…We’ve seen programs developed by ideas, projects completed by groups, and lives changed by the hands of volunteers. We’ve learned that when you give Bloomington a call to action, our community shows up!

Join us. Visit today!