Helpmate is a good steward of community resources for ending domestic violence, and relies heavily on its volunteers to meet the increasing demand for services. Helpmate volunteers are given ongoing training and support to work with victims of domestic violence and their children, and to support overall agency needs. Volunteers are used in a variety of capacities, and at all levels of program and agency operation. Helpmate’s Board of Directors is composed of volunteers dedicated to working with staff to eliminate abuse and fear.
Direct Service Positions
- Case Management Advocates support community and residential clients in meeting their goals and maintaining their safety plans. This may sometimes involve advocating on a client’s behalf with other community agencies, providing transportation, and assisting with paperwork. By providing case management support, we are able to help more survivors achieve successful outcomes in their case plans. Bilingual advocates greatly needed to assist our Spanish-speaking clients. Please note that this is a specialized advanced position that requires an initial period of hotline advocacy and an interview before being approved to assist in this role.
- Children’s Services Volunteers provide childcare during regular support group meetings and case management sessions for adult clients. We often need volunteers to assist with childcare when parents go to court hearings, important social service appointments or when they need time to relax, work on chores, cook a meal or meet with their case manager in the shelter. This opportunity can also involve assisting with our weekly Children’s Art Program or other regular enrichment activities. By offering their time and care, Children’s Volunteers show the youngest victims of domestic violence that everyone deserves to be nurtured and loved.
- Family Justice Center Receptionists serve as a first point of contact for survivors, not only for Helpmate, but all agencies housed in the Family Justice Center. Receptionists greet walk-ins and facilitate their access to services. They also direct clients with appointments to the appropriate staff contact and assist the public in understanding what services are available at the FJC. These volunteers offer much-needed support to Helpmate’s Intake Specialists so they can work more closely with survivors in the FJC.
- Hotline Advocates assist survivors of domestic violence by answering calls on Helpmate’s 24-hour hotline. These advocates provide emotional support, safety planning strategies, community resource referrals, and information about Helpmate’s free services. Hotline Advocates often serve as the first, critical link to Helpmate services- and to living without abuse. Bilingual advocates are greatly needed to help answer calls from Spanish-speaking survivors.
Indirect Service Positions
- Building/Grounds Helpers ensure that Helpmate’s facility is a safe, attractive space for our shelter residents. These volunteers assist with lawn maintenance, light repair, and general cleaning around the shelter. By nurturing Helpmate’s environment, Building and Grounds Helpers create a home for healing.
- Donation Volunteers support our staff by picking up donations from various places in the community on a weekly or monthly basis (churches, businesses, etc.). They deliver the donations to our Emergency Shelter and the Family Justice Center so that our clients can have access to food, cell phones, toiletries, children’s items, etc. With the support of these volunteers, survivors are able to get the basic necessities they need in order to move forward with a life free of violence and fear.
- Prevention Educators give presentations and foster conversations about dating violence and healthy relationships with various groups of youth in the community (e.g. middle school classes, high school classes, faith based groups, after school programs, etc.). This kind of outreach opportunity will allow for the youth in the community to learn about dating/domestic violence resources and be better prepared for future intimate relationships.
- Special Event/Fundraiser Volunteers support Helpmate by working with staff to carry out Helpmate’s fundraising and awareness events. This primarily involves staffing Helpmate’s resource tables and giving out information about domestic abuse and our free programs. Special event volunteers are not just Helpmate’s fundraisers—they are our friendraisers!
Required Volunteer Training
A three-hour “Domestic Violence 101” orientation is required for all types of volunteer opportunities. This orientation covers Helpmate’s services and the basic dynamics of domestic abuse. A 14-16 hour classroom training and additional observational training is also required for FJC Reception Support, Hotline Advocacy and Case Mgmt. Support. These orientations and trainings are offered three times a year—usually in January, May, and September.
Contact Christy Price for more information about volunteer opportunities and training schedules: 828.254.2968, ext. 112 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in participating in a formal internship to meet undergraduate college program requirements, please contact Christy Price, Helpmate’s Director of Outreach & Volunteer Programming at (828)254-2968 ext. 112 or email@example.com.
If you are a graduate-level student and interested in participating in a formal internship, please contact Lauren Ray, Helpmate’s Counseling Coordinator, at (828)254-2968, ext. 114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.