I have gained great insight into the strength of human beings by working with victims of domestic abuse. They are truly an inspiration to me.
– a Volunteer
A WORK OF HEART
The opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life is at the heart of the volunteer experience. At Family Shelter Service, we recognize that volunteers are a valuable resource and our best ambassadors. Volunteers make the choice to help. Simply, because they care, volunteers have a far-reaching positive impact on our clients and the community.
Each year our volunteers provide more than 20,000 hours of service to Family Shelter Service. We simply could not provide the life-changing services to victims of domestic abuse and their families without the support and commitment of our volunteers. We hope you’ll join us as we strive to achieve our mission of providing help and hope to those affected by domestic abuse.
IMMEDIATE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES (updated 9/19/2016):
- New Position: Hotline Assistant: Every month we receive hundreds of calls from police officers who have responded to a domestic violence call in their community. We are looking for Hotline Assistants to take those calls and complete the reports used by our advocates to reach out to victims. Hotline Assistants may also screen incoming hotline calls and either route them to a Hotline worker or answer general questions from callers.
- Training Required: Next training takes place in Downers Grove, October 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m. with follow-up orientation October 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (check back for future dates)
- Email Volunteer Advocate Katie Peterson to register: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hotline Volunteers: Support domestic violence victims on our 24/7 hotline. 4-hour shifts are available days, evenings, nights, and weekends. Bi-lingual preferred.
- Requires completion of 48-hour training program which began August 13. Click Here for more information.
- Children’s Program Volunteers: Work with our Children’s Program to provide support to children growing up with domestic violence. We have openings for volunteers to work with our children’s groups or to provide childcare while moms are in group or individual counseling.
- Requires completion of 48-hour training program which begins August 13. Click Here for more information or to register.
HOW CAN I HELP?
We know that individual skills and interests vary and that not everyone can volunteer the same amount of time. Therefore, we offer many opportunities with various time commitments.
Direct Service – Work With Clients
Training: In addition to Volunteer Orientation, direct service volunteers must complete a state-mandated 48-hour training course before working with clients. The training covers a wide range of topics, from understanding the cultural contexts of violence in America to addressing legal issues that victims face. Training explores questions such as “Why do people choose to abuse and why don’t victims just leave?” Family Shelter offers training 3 times a year. For more information on our 48-Hour Training click here.
Positions: The following are direct service opportunities at Family Shelter Service (please click here for detailed job descriptions). Please note that not all positions currently have openings, check with the Volunteer Coordinator to find out about current opportunities:
- Shelter Supporter
- Hotline Volunteer
- Court Advocate Volunteer
- Children’s Program Volunteer
- Job Club Volunteer
- Prevention Assistance Volunteer
- Speakers Bureau
For volunteers who would like to get started right away, or who do not want to work directly with clients, Family Shelter Service provides non-direct service opportunities. These positions provide support for day-to-day tasks, fundraising, special events, and our resale shops.
Training: The only requirement to begin volunteering in non-direct service roles is to attend Volunteer Orientation. (NOTE: Volunteers who wish to volunteer at Resale Shops do not need to attend the Orientation.)
Positions (please click here for detailed job descriptions). Please note that not all positions currently have openings, check with the Volunteer Coordinator to find out about current opportunities:
- Office Support Volunteer
- Volunteer Program Assistant
- Development Department Assistant
- Front Desk Volunteer
- Children’s Playroom Organizer
- Donation/Storage Room Volunteer
- Buildings and Grounds Maintenance
- Community Ambassador
Special Events: Family Shelter Service holds several events each year, including a 5K/10K Run, holiday events, and a fundraising gala. We need many, many volunteers to make these events a success:
- Special Events Associate
- Special Events Committee Member
Second Chance Resale Shops: Our resale stores in Naperville and Westmont provide our clients and their families a place where they can replenish their wardrobes and households with gently used items, free of charge. Our shops also create an additional source of income to help Family Shelter Service support our mission to provide help and hope to victims of domestic violence in DuPage county. To learn more about our resale shops, visit our Resale Shops page.
- Resale Shop Volunteer
- Resale Transport Associate
We welcome the support of organizations and service groups of all kinds. Corporate groups, faith-based organizations, schools, scout troops and service organizations often volunteer with Family Shelter Service, either for a one-time project or on an ongoing basis. It has been our experience that group efforts are meaningful to the volunteers, our clients, and Family Shelter Service as a whole. Some examples of group projects:
- Adopt a Room at one of our shelters
- Sponsor a funding opportunity (furniture, wish list items)
- Hold a fundraiser to benefit Family Shelter Service
- Provide gardening/yard work
- Help in Resale Shop warehouse
- Paint/clean various areas inside our shelters
To volunteer as a group, please contact Pat Welch, Volunteer Coordinator, email@example.com
STEPS TO BECOMING A VOLUNTEER
As you go through the process of becoming a volunteer at Family Shelter Service, our Volunteer Coordinator is available to answer questions or help with any aspect of becoming a volunteer:
Katie Peterson, Volunteer Coordinator
630-221-8290, Ext. 9008
Resale Shops: To volunteer at one of our Resale Shops, all you need to do is call or stop in at the shop most convenient for your. For more information and addresses, visit our Resale Shops page. Please call or email the Volunteer Coordinator if you have any questions.
Step 1: Volunteer Orientation
Volunteer Orientation is required of all our volunteers (except Resale Shop). Volunteer Orientation sessions are held once a month on the second Thursday of the month from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at our Downers Grove shelter. Upcoming orientations:
Thursday, August 11: CANCELLED
Thursday, September 8
Please e-mail our Volunteer Program Coordinator, Katie Peterson, at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign-up for the class by noon the previous day. Directions and address will be e-mailed to you. If you are unable to attend the orientation sessions please e-mail Volunteer Coordinator for other options.
This introduction to Family Shelter Service and domestic violence will give you the information you need to become involved as a volunteer at Family Shelter Service:
- The History of Family Shelter
- Introduction to domestic violence
- Types of jobs for volunteers
- Training for the jobs
- How you can get involved
Step 2: Meet with Volunteer Coordinator
After you have attended Volunteer Orientation you will meet with the Volunteer Coordinator.
- Discuss your interests and open positions
- Complete volunteer application materials
- Participate in training, i.e. 48-hour training
- Interview with department where you wish to volunteer
Step 3: Begin Volunteering!
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
Volunteers are valuable resources to the agency, our staff and our clients. It is our goal that volunteers will be:
- trusted and respected as people who make unique contributions;
- able to freely discuss problems, ask questions and make suggestions;
- given sound guidance and direction by staff and senior volunteers;
- provided orientation, training, support, supervision and evaluation.
Violence in the home strikes at the heart of our community – our families. However, with intervention, the cycle of abuse can be broken. Volunteers truly make a difference in the lives of victims of domestic abuse and their children. We hope you will join the volunteer community at Family Shelter Service as we continue to offer help and hope to those affected by domestic violence.