Just another WordPress site

Volunteers

Using Our Volunteer Opportunities Guide

In our guide, you will get an idea of how much good is being done in Westmoreland County, and how much still needs to be done. Every day the organizations listed in this guide struggle to make the area a better place to live. They are able to help their clients only because people like you, hardworking, thoughtful and caring, take the time to volunteer their energy, intelligence, compassion to lift one person at a time.

Please take a few minutes to look at the “Tips for the Volunteer” section before you select an organization. It contains very helpful information and may assist you in making the right choice.
You will find the organizations (listed in alphabetical order) and the needs they meet. A brief description and the listing of opportunities are included. Such things as location, minimum age of volunteers and other pertinent information are mentioned.

A new addition this year is the Internship Available category. If you are a student who is interested in working directly with an organization many you may find one that fits your learning needs.
Thank you for taking the time to use the Volunteer Opportunities Guidebook. We hope that it leads to a rewarding, long term volunteer experience. And please mention to the organization that you found them WAVA Volunteer Opportunities Guide.

Volunteering Tips.

Before You Call.

Know what you want to do. . Take some time to think about how you want to help. Start with the basics: What do you like to do? What are you good at? What issues concern you? Are there limits to where you want to volunteer? Write down your thoughts and use them to help you find the right volunteer opportunity. If the organization has a web site and you have online access you may find it helpful to look at their website to learn more about the organization.

When You Call.

Ask questions. . It’s best to ask any questions you have when you first call an organization. You and the organization can then determine if you are a good match.

  • Be understanding. Organizations cannot always take you on as a volunteer, even though you are willing to help. If an organization can’t use you at this time, don’t be discouraged. Just call back at a later date or find another organization that needs you now.
  • Be honest. If the organization needs someone with skills you don’t have, or they require a longer commitment than you are willing to give, be honest with them. They will try to find an activity that matches your abilities if at all possible.
  • Be persistent. If someone doesn’t call you back immediately don’t assume they don’t need you. Most organizations have small budgets and staffs to handle overwhelming demands and they usually are very busy. Simply call back.

When You Volunteer.

Be responsible. Make sure to dress and act appropriately. Show up on time. If you have to be late or absent, call the volunteer coordinator as soon as possible. Help them find someone to fill in for you.

  • Be realistic. You may not always see the impact your efforts are making. Volunteering is hard work, the problems are often profound, and the victories usually small. Never doubt that you’re making a significant difference. YOU ARE!
  • Be humble. Most people will thank you for your efforts, but some may not. Remember that people appreciate your efforts even if they don’t say it.
  • Be creative. Volunteer your skills and ideas will come with time. Think about all the ways you can use your special talents to make a difference. Talk about your ideas with everyone. Work to make your new ideas solve old problems.

Group Volunteering

Be prepared. Before you call, figure out what type of organization you’d like to volunteer for, how many people will be in your group and when you can help.

  • Be understanding. Some organizations do not need groups to help, and most only need them at certain times. Don’t be discouraged if an organization cannot use your group. There are others that can.
  • Be flexible. Don’t tell an organization when you will come to help. Instead, ask when they need you.
  • Be reliable. Show up on time with the number of people you promised.  Be prepared to work hard. The harder you work the greater impact you will make.
  • Finish what you start. If your project runs longer than you expected, work until it is completed. You have volunteered to do a job so don’t leave it unfinished.
  • Think past one time. Most organizations that use volunteer groups would love to have them return on a regular basis. Working regularly with an organization is rewarding for the volunteers and helps the organization meet the needs of their clients.

Daytime Volunteering

Try to be flexible with your time. Because of work or school, you may only be able to volunteer in the evening or on weekends. If you have free time during weekdays, however, many organizations would be happy to have you help.

Special Needs

Talk with the organization. Most organizations will make every effort to accommodate volunteers with special physical needs. If you have such needs, talk with the volunteer coordinator about them during your first call.

In-Kind Help

Help in other ways. Organizations can always use help in the form of equipment, supplies or gifts. Look around your home or place of work for quality items you no longer use but an organization might need. Also consider donating new items to an organization.

  • Give what is needed. When determining where to make your donation, call the organization and ask for their “wish list”.
  • Be helpful. Because many organizations do not have the means to pick up your donation, be prepared to drop off the item yourself.
  • Be creative.
    * Use your coupons for free items that you may not need for things that can be used by the organizations listed.
    * Free items from rebate coupons are also greatly appreciated.
    * Ask birthday or anniversary party guests to bring a donation for your favorite charity.
    * Include a charity in your will or call them about planned giving programs.
    * Request donations to an organization instead of flowers for a loved one’s funeral.

Fundraising

Call first. . Although most organizations welcome office, group or family fundraisers on their behalf, contact the organization you wish to fundraise for in advance. That way you will be sure that what you plan to do does not conflict with something that is already planned and is conducive with their policies.

Internships

Each of the colleges in Westmoreland County offer internship programs. Internship programs place students with an agency or business for a set amount of time to learn about the business, get hands-on experience and assist the agency. Depending upon the situation the intern may work on day to day tasks and other times a single project. In turn the agency will be helping the student learn more about their chosen field and have something to add to their resume. Having young people working for your agency can be a wonderful experience. They often have new ideas, great energy and abilities that can be channeled into improving your agency. Some internships are done at no cost to the agency, others are paid a stipend and some are paid at an hourly rate.  If you have a need in your organization that might be filled by an intern call the college office and talk to them about your expectations.

P.O. Box 493
Greensburg, PA 15601
724-420-4184