Q: How old can volunteers be to serve in the pantry?
A: Due to the nature of how we serve clients on a face-to-face basis, volunteers must be ages 12 and older for safety and liability reasons. Kids between the ages of 12-15 must volunteer alongside a parent or group leader.
Q: Do you have alternative times where children younger than 12 can volunteer?
A: We schedule volunteers to help restock our clothing facility during the day on Fridays, and kids ages 5 and older are welcome to serve alongside a parent or group leader at an appointed time on Fridays only. All volunteers must be scheduled in advance prior to coming in to serve.
Q: Can I just show up to volunteer whenever?
A: No, we do ask that all volunteers schedule your time to serve in advance by filling out our volunteer form here: http://heartlandhopemission.org/volunteer/, or by scheduling a time to serve through emailing our volunteer coordinator, Amanda@heartlandHopeMission.org.
Q: Once I submit the volunteer form, am I guaranteed a volunteer slot for the date/time I request?
A: We will do our best to work with your schedule where we have openings on our volunteer calendar. By providing us with 2 or 3 dates and times you are available, it helps us to better secure a time within your availability.
Q: How long will it take to hear back from someone about being scheduled to volunteer?
A: Our staff does our absolute best to respond to all volunteer requests within a 48 hour period on weekdays. We appreciate your patience.
Q: Do I have to stay for the entire volunteer shift once scheduled?
A: We are serving clients all the way through until the departure time on your scheduled shift therefore, we ask that all volunteers stay for the full shift provided.
Q: Will there be a snack break during a volunteer shift?
A: Generally, we don’t have time to break volunteers during a scheduled shift, other than short bathroom breaks when needed. Therefore, we ask that all volunteers eat a hearty meal prior to coming to serve. We do not provide snacks, but we do provide bottled water to volunteers during the duration of their shift.
Q: What will I be doing when I am volunteering during pantry?
A: Volunteers will be assisting our staff by distributing food, clothing and hygiene items to families in need. We will train you on tasks upon your arrival. (Note: some volunteers may be asked to assist families with unloading groceries into cars outside in our parking lot. Please come dressed to help outside in case you are asked to assist with that.)
Q: What is your volunteer dress code?
A: For your safety and comfort please wear tennis shoes and jeans or khaki pants. Wardrobe restrictions: no sandals, no flip-flops, no open-toed shoes, no high heels, no short-shorts, no tank tops, no midriffs, no spandex or inappropriate printing on clothing. Please wear a jacket or coat if weather is chilly. We do ask that all volunteers adhere to our dress code policy as a safety precaution.
Q: How will I know where to go once I am scheduled to volunteer?
A: Volunteer instructions will be provided (via email) to all individuals and/or groups who are confirmed on the volunteer schedule. Instructions will include: location, arrival and departure times, parking instructions, dress code, volunteer duties, age restrictions, and check-in instructions.
Q: Do I need to go through a training before I volunteer?
A: Volunteers are trained by our staff during the first 30 minutes of each scheduled pantry shift (no need to arrive early). Once all volunteers are trained and set into their places, we will begin serving clients.
Q: Should I arrive 30 minutes before my scheduled shift?
A: No. Please arrive at the start time of your shift. Arriving early does not give more time for training, as we train all volunteers at the same time, for the first 30 minutes of your scheduled shift.
Q: What should I do if I’m running late?
A: Please do your best to arrive no later than 15 minutes past the start time of your shift. If you are running more than 20 minutes late, please consider rescheduling your volunteer time with the Volunteer Coordinator.
Q: Can I bring donations when I come to volunteer?
A: Yes. We will receive donations at the donation drop off door/volunteer entrance at the start or end of your shift. We accept the following donations: nonperishable food items (before expiration date), organic produce, hygiene items (unopened), new or gently used clothing items, shoes, accessories, and household items. Linens and clothing items must be washed prior to donating. We do not accept donations of electronics or furniture. A tax receipt will be given upon request.
Q: Can I work extra volunteer hours in exchange for food in the pantry?
A: If you are in need of a pantry, we ask that you come in as a client to receive a pantry on a day you are not volunteering so we can ensure you are provided with access to all services that we provide to our clients. Volunteering does not ensure extra access to food in the pantry.
Q: Can I fulfill court ordered community service hours?
A: Before we schedule you to fulfill court ordered hours, we will need you to answer the following questions:
How many hours do you need to complete?
What date do you need the hours completed by?
What type of diversion are you completing the hours for?
Do you have a caseworker?
If so, what is your caseworker's name/contact information?