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Why Volunteering at Compass Center Might be Right for You

We have approximately 200 volunteers a year . Most of our volunteers work directly with clients. For this reason, we  provide extensive training so that volunteers are adequately prepared to provide services to people in need.

Our volunteer trainings are only twice a year for specific positions, so if you’re interested, now is the time to start applying.  Compass Center’s Director of Client Services and Volunteer Management, Ashley Parks, answers some frequently asked questions about our volunteer program.

 

What do volunteers at Compass Center do?

We have a variety of different volunteer positions. Everything from working on the crisis line to career coaching and tabling at events. It depends on what volunteers are interested in doing and how much time they can devote volunteering. We have one volunteer who posts flyers for us once a month. That’s all she has time for, but it’s a huge help.

Here are some of the volunteer positions we are looking for:

  • Domestic Violence Hotline Advocates are needed to assist survivors of domestic and interpersonal violence by responding to calls on our 24-hour hotline. 
  • Information and Referral Volunteers are needed to welcome our clients, assess their needs and goals, and connect them to Compass Center services and community resources accordingly. 
  • Domestic Violence Court Advocates needed to provide emotional support, information about the court system, community referrals, and connect clients with other victim service providers. 
  • Career Program Volunteers needed to work one-on-one with clients with varying needs for career guidance and support, such as career/vocational exploration, resume writing, cover letters, job search strategies, interviewing, and goal-setting. Volunteers commit to six months with a minimum of four appointments per month.

Please visit https://compassctr.org/contributions/volunteer-opportunities/ to see all of our opportunities. There are many ways to get involved and most of the time we take any skills you have!

How can I become a volunteer?

Initially, people email me or fill out our application online and then I send them position descriptions and ensure that it’s a good fit for their availability. From there, I connect them to a staff member in charge of that role and that person will do an in-person conversation or screening. Then in the fall, we hold our volunteer training. There are two days of training, which is comprised of a general training for all volunteers and then a more specific training for a volunteer’s specific role.  

Who can be a volunteer?

Because of the time constraints and the sensitive or serious nature of some of the work, we generally ask that people are 18 years or older and that they’re ready to make  a long-term volunteering commitment.

Is it paid?

Volunteer roles are not paid. Every once in a while we have some internships that have a small stipend that goes with them, such as Court Advocacy and Community Response internship, but generally they are not paid positions.

Can someone get school credit?

We receive many students from APPLES Service-Learning, which is a student-led program at UNC Chapel Hill that connects academic learning with public service, and Masters of Social Work students who get school credit. Those are situations we’re used to dealing with, but it would just be a matter of having a conversation with that school about what their expectations are for us and the student.

Are there volunteer positions that aren’t client-facing?

Yes. We have volunteers who help with development, communications, community awareness, and finance. Some of these volunteers are students, and some are community members including professional graphic designers and photographers who donate their services.

What can someone expect from volunteering?

A volunteer can expect to get quality training and have attentive staff support throughout their time here. It’s a very rewarding experience for a lot of people and volunteers grow a lot and meet new people. As a staff, we are all really responsive, consistent and really value our volunteers!

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