Toco Hills Community Alliance

Con Ed I Site for Residential Students

About the Site

Toco Hills Community Alliance (THCA) is a group of faith communities and others working together to help those in need in Dekalb county and northeast Atlanta. The goal of THCA is to provide free groceries, including non-perishable food, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy items, breads, meat and desserts, that allow family resources to be redirected to other needs, as well as free clothing and some meals. Currently, due to high volume of usage, all services are provided outside of 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.  

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, 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, please visit the THCA website.

Site Mission

THCA is a collaborative and ecumenical ministry that provides hot meals, groceries, and clothing to fulfill the mission of neighbors helping neighbors, providing 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.


Dr. Khalia Williams will be the faculty co-leader of the spring integrative seminar for Toco Hills Community Alliance students.

Teaching and Site Supervisor

Rev. Dr. Lisa Heilig, Executive Director of Toco Hills Community Alliance, has served a number of churches in the Southern U.S., 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.


Con Ed I Student Requirements for Toco Hills Community Alliance

Site work at Arrendale will be in person, as Department of Corrections policies and public health guidance permit. Students should plan for a full day, including transportation (provided) and an afternoon reflection group.

Students will work as chaplain interns, providing spiritual care for staff and incarcerated women. Chaplain interns will provide spiritual care to inmates individually and in small groups.

  • Con Ed I at Arrendale also includes a fall semester on-site reflection group, led by Rev. Dr. Lisa Heilig, and a spring semester integrative seminar.

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.

Candler Firsthand: Con Ed

Hear what students and alumni have to say about their Con Ed experience.

Decoration SVG
Candler School of Theology Brittain Lawrence

“Through participation in the Con Ed program, I have been given the opportunity to discern my callings and develop skills and practices of ministry, all while under the nurturing guidance of community.”

Brittain Lawrence

MDiv '24

Candler School of Theology Barry Lee
Candler School of Theology Barry Lee

“I realized that serving at a social service agency like a food bank is not so much about the provision of food, but about nourishing the souls of those we encounter, whoever they might be, and that we must be willing to extend ourselves unselfishly for the benefit of others. To me, this is the purpose of community, and embodies the art of loving a neighbor.”

Barry Lee

MDiv '23

Candler School of Theology Brittain Lawrence
Candler School of Theology Brittain Lawrence

“Through participation in the Con Ed program, I have been given the opportunity to discern my callings and develop skills and practices of ministry, all while under the nurturing guidance of community.”

Brittain Lawrence

MDiv '24

Decoration Graphic