Volunteer FAQ

Volunteer FAQ1. Do you have to be Catholic to volunteer with Catholic Charities?
No, you do not have to be Catholic to volunteer. Our staff and the people we serve are of all faiths and beliefs.

2. Is training provided for the volunteer assignments? Will I have a mentor for my assignment?
Each program is responsible for training. Some programs provide shadowing or mentors for new volunteers, others programs do not. Please discuss this with your volunteer coordinator.

3. How many hours do I need to commit?
Every program has different time requirements. The number of hours you commit depends on you and the needs of the program.

4. How long do I need to commit?
Some programs require a longer time commitment than others. If you don't feel you can commit to a project or program for the length of time requested, please re-visit the list of Volunteer Opportunities to select a program that suits your schedule.

5. How long will it take to get reimbursed for expenses approved by my Volunteer Coordinator?
If you have an approved expense that needs to be reimbursed, please provide receipts for your Volunteer Coordinator ASAP. It should take no longer than two weeks to process (after your Volunteer Coordinator has processed your paperwork). The Volunteer Coordinator can request that the check be returned to him or her and then be picked up by you or the check can be mailed to your home.

6. How long does it take to do a performance assessment?
Each program has a different evaluation process and schedule. At a minimum you will be evaluated yearly. The evaluation is meant to help you get feedback on your contribution to Catholic Charities and our mission.

7. What happens if I get injured during my volunteer assignment?
Catholic Charities is concerned about the safety of our employees, volunteers, and clients. If you are injured, you must report the injury to your Volunteer Coordinator. Volunteers are not covered by the agency's worker's compensation policy

8. What is your policy regarding receiving gifts?
We are here to serve the clients and do not want them to reward us for providing service. Cards are acceptable, but we discourage gifts, and absolutely no money should be accepted by volunteers. Always check with your Volunteer Coordinator regarding any gifts you receive.

9. Can I volunteer if I have a criminal record?
A criminal record may not preclude a person from volunteering, but each report is reviewed on an individual basis for a final decision. Although we cannot guarantee a placement, in many cases there are opportunities that may be appropriate.

10. How can I use my special skill as a volunteer?
If you have a special skill you would like to use as a volunteer, please let your Volunteer Coordinator know. Many times there are projects that need special skills that may not have been posted with our regular assignments.

11. Am I required to fill out an application?
Catholic Charities requires all volunteers who work with clients, and/or who may have access to confidential information, to fill out an application. The application for one-time volunteers provides us with your name and emergency contact information. If you will be volunteering on a regular basis the application also gives us information about your interests and background.

12. What's next after I fill out the application form?
Once Catholic Charities receives your application it will be forwarded to the Volunteer Coordinator of the program that you have selected. This person contacts you to coordinate orientation, training, scheduling, and will be a general point of contact during your volunteer assignment.

13. Will I get paid for my volunteer work?
Except in rare occasions (special stipend programs), Catholic Charities does not pay volunteers. In the cases where we do have stipend programs strict criteria must be met to participate.

14. Why will you complete a background check if I do not work for you?
Background checks including fingerprinting are required for the protection of our clients and staff. Background checks are a standard practice we follow with all individuals who are interested in volunteer positions that involve contact with clients and or confidential information.

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