Entertainment at Shepherd’s Table

Impact Area

Help Neighbors in NeedWellness/HealthOther

Volunteer Group Name & URL

Hosted by the African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation

Organization Served & URL

Shepherd’s Table in Silver Spring

Project Goal/Description

To encourage African immigrant high school students to engage in community service, specifically to perform and do entertainment at Shepherd’s Table in Silver Spring. To expose students to the issue of homelessness in their community. To enable students and patrons of Shepherd’s Table to share experiences and life stories. To provide joy and uplift the patrons that night. To expose the patrons of Shepherd’s Table to African culture

Timeline for Planning

  • Two Months Before: Contact Shepherd’s Table and confirm a date. Begin planning entertainment/recruiting students or a student group.
  • One Month Before: Rehearse performances and plan for equipment, props, and other outside resources that will be used. (For example, AIR uses a laptop and external speakers, as audio equipment is not provided.)
  • The Day Of: Break a leg!



How Many Volunteers

As many high school students as want to perform. No minimum. Time Commitment: The students perform for about 2 hours, plus put in preparation time for rehearsals beforehand.

How Was This Publicized to Recruit Volunteers?

Publicity was aimed at the students at Blair High School, to recruit them to get involved, through posters and flyers.

Required Facilities, Materials & Expenses

Only expenses are transportation to Shepherd’s Table – bus, car, and/or Metro.


Make sure there aren’t too many people performing at one time (not bigger than 10 to 15) or it gets unwieldy.

Group Type

Cultural/Ethnic GroupNonprofit

Strategic Priority Addressed

Vital living for all our residents


Students felt really welcome there, and therefore inspired to continue serving the community. They also felt great about being able to share their culture with the people of Shepherd’s Table and felt a warm welcome. The experience opened students’ eyes to how pervasive the need for such a shelter is, and how diverse the clientele is.

Special Points of Interest

  • Keep performances structured and organized. Too many performers can make things difficult!
  • Ensure that you have the proper equipment to perform (i.e. audio equipment).
  • Outreach to local students via flyers, social networking, etc.