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Resource Type: Experiential learning opportunity


Main audience: Church groups looking for a hands-on learning and serving experience concerning urban poverty/homelessness


Organization: Travis Park United MethodistChurch

Program: San Antonio Volunteer Experience (SAVE)

Dates: Varies

Location:  San Antonio, TX

Cost: $25/day for youth, $20/ day for adults (not including the cost of food and transportation)



Phone: (210)226-8341
Fax: (210)226-8344




The San Antonio Volunteer Experience (SAVE) is a one-week missions experience located in San Antonio, TX.  This weeklong program is designed for groups to come to San Antonio and learn about urban issues dealing with homelessness and living on the margins of society through hands- on experience, guest speakers and presentations.  Each group’s missions experience in unique.  The SAVE staff will work with each group to personalize their experience and create a schedule that works for them.


A typical week at SAVE begins on Saturday evening.  All groups are asked to arrive between 3-6 pm on Saturday.  That evening there is an orientation that includes an introduction to the projects the participants will be working on and a schedule for the week.  In addition, tools and tips for interacting with the homeless are part of the orientation. 


Sunday morning participants jump right into ministry by assisting with the services that the church offers to the homeless, such as serving food and providing clothing.  The rest of the week groups will participate in work projects around the city during the morning and attend educational exercises in the afternoon.  A time for debriefing will be provided at the end of each day, in addition to time for worship or personal devotions. 


SAVE will provide meals at an additional cost, but groups may opt to provide their own food as well.  Dinners planned by SAVE are at local area restaurants.  All of the meal prices are fixed: breakfast is $4, lunch $5, and dinner $7.  A kitchen is available for groups who prefer to cook their own meals, but there is no time in the schedule allotted for preparing meals so groups may need to bring an extra adult to prepare meals if they choose this option.  Groups may also elect to participate in some SAVE planned meals and go out on their own for other meals.  The program is flexible and can be arranged to meet each groups needs. 


A day of rest and other free time activities, such as a trip to Sea World or Six Flags, may be arranged with SAVE staff in advance. 


Registration forms can be found on the SAVE website.  Groups are required to pay a nonrefundable deposit of $20 per participant.  The total cost is $25/ day for youth, and $20/ day for adults.  This cost covers sleeping arrangements, showers, work projects, supplies and learning opportunities.  It does not include the cost of food and transportation to and around San Antonio.  


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