Community Volunteering: A Few Things for You to Know

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In 2010, 26% of the adult population performed volunteer work worth $284 billion dollars(1). Adequate support of these volunteers, including education, is key to the quality and longevity of their service. Yet, there is a lack of materials intended to sensitize volunteers to recognizing and dealing with common issues of volunteer service. Further, there are explicit contemporary policies concerning religion in services that are funded, fully or in part, by the government (2); many programs and volunteers are unaware of these policies and how to comply with them. Thus, the submitted volunteer guidelines product, which was prepared to address the needs of a specific homeless shelter, seeks to help fill these voids in volunteer training. ‰ÛÏCommunity Volunteering: A Few Things For You to Know‰Û is a three-part, six-page, 3,000 word document. The ‰ÛÏIntroduction‰Û section contextualizes the product and provides freely-available references; it is intended for program leadership and volunteers interested in learning more. The ‰ÛÏVolunteer Handout‰Û section offers thumbnail discussions of important volunteerism topics, and the ‰ÛÏKey Points List‰Û is a one-page summary of behavioral guidelines. Our work is intended and appropriate for a general audience. The document, or portions thereof, could be used in volunteer orientation, continuing education trainings, or reference materials, and may be adapted or elaborated upon to suit a specific program‰Ûªs needs.

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