Toco Hills Community Alliance

Toco Hills Community Alliance (THCA) is a group of faith communities and others working together to help those in need in our service area of Dekalb and northeast Atlanta. The goal of THCA is to make available emergency food assistance with free groceries, including non-perishable food, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy items, breads, meat and desserts. We also provide free clothing and some meals. Currently, due to COVID, all services are provided outside of the building, with volunteers preparing for service delivery inside the building. Contextual Education I interns will function in a variety of roles in support of these goals, including assisting with packing and distributing groceries, greeting and intake for those receiving services, working directly with volunteers, as well as assisting in locating or developing additional resources.  

Site Work

Monday and Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  

Site work will be in person. Covid vaccine required.

Contextual Education I  interns will function in a variety of roles, with tasks that vary daily based on need. Distribution days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and students must work at least one shift per semester during distribution hours. Currently, we do not have any off-site work that can be performed. All those working on site must be in a group at low risk for COVID, able to lift 25 pounds easily, adhere to all safety protocols including temperature checks, wearing masks and gloves, and social distancing at all times while working. Due to the need to have no more than 15 working at one time, we can only accommodate 3 students at a time. Fluency in Spanish will be an asset.  

Fall 2021 Reflection Group

Monday, 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. led by Rev. Dr. Lisa Heilig.

Spring 2022 Integrative Seminar

Monday, 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Please note that there may be additional changes to the spring schedule as plans for spring semester develop. For Spring CEI Integrative Seminars, you can expect a schedule similar to the corresponding fall CEI Reflection Groups, conditions allowing.

Pastoral Care Class

Students who enroll in Toco Hills Community Alliance will also enroll in Intro to Pastoral Care PC501 CE in the fall semester, taught by Jennifer Winingder (Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.).

Faculty Academic Advisor

Dr. Jehu Hanciles will serve as the academic advisor for Toco Hills Community Alliance students.

Site Mission

Neighbors Helping Neighbors - To provide assistance and support for those in the nine zip code service area in Central Dekalb and Northeast Atlanta, as well as those experiencing homelessness and those who are veterans, who are without sufficient food or resources for themselves and their families.

About the Site

With 1 in 7 Georgians facing food insecurity, THCA is part of response to ensure those in need have access to good, healthy food provided in an atmosphere of welcome, hospitality, and community. The demographics of those who receive services are as diverse as the metro Atlanta area itself, encompassing racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities, as well as families of all constellations, senior citizens, children, and college students, those experiencing homelessness, those in recovery from substance abuse, those who are having physical and/or mental health issues, immigrants and refugees. Many who receive services are employed, but simply unable to cover all of their expenses. Services are provided by a dedicated, nearly all volunteer staff that is as diverse as those who receive services. For more information, see the website at https://tocohillsalliance.org/home.

Additional Requirements & Accessibility

Interns should be open to engagement with different kinds of people and exhibit compassion. THCA is accessible on MARTA Bus Route 30, on LaVista Rd between North Druid Hills Rd and Briarcliff Rd near Carolyn Dr. Follow the church entrance driveway through the parking lot to the white building located behind the church. Look for our sign.

All students working at this site must be fully vaccinated for COVID, able to lift 25 pounds easily, adhere to all safety protocols including temperature checks, wearing masks and gloves, and social distancing at all times while working. Fluency in Spanish will be an asset.

Covid-19 Safety Protocols

Here are our current COVID safety precautions for volunteers: 

The dangers of the coronavirus, COVID 19, are still very real. In fact, the number of infections is on the rise here in Georgia. We have done a remarkable job with our safety precautions, and we have to double down even harder. 
 
In order to keep ourselves, our clients, and our families safe, every volunteer must abide by all of the precautions: 

  • EVERYONE MUST WEAR A MASK OVER THEIR MOUTH AND NOSE. If you must lower your mask for a periodic break or in order to eat or drink, you must ensure you are more than 6 feet from any person, surface, or product. Wearing a mask is admittedly not comfortable, but it is so important that if any volunteer is unable to follow this protocol, they will be asked to leave immediately. All clients are also required to wear a mask to receive services from us. Here is a link to an article about the importance of masks: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200504-coronavirus-what-is-the-best-kind-of-face-mask 
  • EVERYONE MUST HAVE THEIR TEMPERATURE TAKEN EVERY DAY they volunteer. The thermometer is external and quick. Once you have had your temp taken, if is normal, you will receive a sticker to show you are cleared to work. If you have a fever, you will be asked to leave to receive medical care and cannot return until cleared by a doctor. You will also be asked if you exhibit coughing or any signs of illness - Stay Home If You Are Sick.  
  • ONLY VOLUNTEERS AND STAFF ON DUTY ARE ALLOWED IN THE BUILDING. If, at any point, we exceed more than 15 people inside the building, volunteers may be asked to go home. Please do not be offended if this happens to you. 
  • EVERYONE NEEDS TO KEEP DISTANCE.  Again, do not be offended if someone tells you to move back. And do not be afraid to remind one another of the need to keep distance. It is hard because we do like one another and we do have a few tight spaces, but it is very important.  
  • EVERYONE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SAFETY AND INFECTION CONTROL. Yes, there is a specific volunteer who disinfects surfaces, but everyone can use the disinfecting wipes to clean surfaces, disinfecting spray to disinfect boxes, and everyone can remind one another of the precautions in place. 

The bottom line is that we are an organization of Neighbors Helping Neighbors and one of the best ways we can help our neighbors - other volunteers, our staff, our families, our clients, is to be stringent in following these protocols. It would be absolutely heart-breaking for anyone to contract the virus at THCA because we were not vigilant in our practices of good health.  

Contact

Toco Hills Community Alliance
1790 LaVista Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
(404)-325-0677

Rev. Dr. Lisa Heilig, Executive Director
lisa@tocohillsalliance.org

Teaching and Site Supervisor

Rev. Dr. Lisa Heilig has served a number of churches in the Southern US, assisting congregations through times of transition with growth in organizational development and intentional outreach. Additionally, she has extensive experience in social service ministries, non-profit management, leadership development, and program coordination.

In May of 2018, Lisa graduated with a Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary with an emphasis on Gospel, Culture, and the Transformation of the Church. Previously, she received a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

She currently serves as the Executive Director of Toco Hills Community Alliance, a collaborative and ecumenical ministry that provides hot meals, groceries, and clothing to fulfill the mission of neighbors helping neighbors.