We know that volunteers come in all ages, from a variety of backgrounds, and with diverse personal & professional experiences. If you are seeking an opportunity to put your time, interests, skills, and experiences to work improving lives of your neighbors in Mercer County, Our Home Family Resource Center might be a good fit for you.
Our Home’s volunteers serve in a number of capacities supporting the work of Direct Services & Referral, Family Crisis Network, and RAFT Supervised Visitation. We’ve provided, here, a brief look into the ways volunteers help us in these programs, and serve as vital support to our mission of “empowering people to grow from crisis to hope” – perhaps there’s something here that will fit your skills and pique your interest!
Direct Services and Referral program offers a food pantry and vouchers for emergency financial assistance to residents of Mercer County. People in need of assistance with rent, utilities, and medical expenses can meet with a family support specialist for assessment of needs and discussion of options that may be available to them.
- Direct Services volunteers help unload and stock items received in monthly food truck delivery, pack food and personal care items for clients of the food pantry, stock food pantry cabinets, count and sort donations (food, back-to-school supplies, coats, personal care items), and sometimes assist with mailings (stuffing/labeling) and making phone calls. There is some lifting and toting required – most often nothing more than you would encounter in regular grocery shopping and stocking cabinets in your home.
- Volunteers for Direct Services generally work on a rotating schedule and are most often needed during our food pantry hours on Tuesdays 10:00am-12:00pm or 1:00pm-3:00pm and Thursdays 10:00am-12:00pm or 1:00pm-3:00pm.
- Volunteers will complete a brief training session with Direct Services Program Coordinator to review duties and confidentiality. Must be at least 18 years of age or out of high school.
Family Crisis Network advocates for Mercer County victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. These services include peer counseling, legal advocacy, safe temporary shelter, case management, safety planning, on-going emotional support, and a 24/7 Crisis Helpline. Family Crisis Network’s aim is to provide advocacy and support for victims of domestic violence so that they might move toward a life free from abuse.
- Family Crisis Network volunteers assist staff by covering evening and weekend calls to our 24-Hour Crisis Helpline. Volunteers are trained to answer calls and provide peer counseling, support, and referrals to victims who call for help with their situation. Family Crisis Network staff are readily accessible should volunteers have any questions they aren’t able to answer or if there’s a need to arrange for emergency shelter. Rest assured, our fulltime staff is just a phone call away.
- Helpline volunteers are able to work from their own homes. Family Crisis Network provides a cell phone to the ‘on call’ volunteer. Calls are forwarded to the cell after regular office hours and ‘on call’ volunteers can answer calls from wherever they are – there is no need to come to Our Home’s office aside from picking up and dropping off the cell phone.
- Volunteers may select dates to be ‘on call’, but we generally ask for either a weekend commitment (beginning at 4:30pm on Friday and ending at 8:30am on Monday) or a 5-night commitment during the week (Monday – Thursday nights beginning at 4:30pm and ending at 8:30am).
- Volunteers must complete domestic violence and sexual assault training through Family Crisis Network before beginning. Also must be 18 years or older and not a previous Family Crisis Network client for at least one year. Criminal background check through the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department is also required.
RAFT Supervised Visitation Center provides a space and a monitor for parental visits with children (when supervision is required by court order or other circumstance). Supervised visits offer an opportunity for families to rebuild relationships, spend quality time together, and remain connected; and, RAFT Visitation Center offers a comfortable, home-like atmosphere to help normalize that child-parent interaction.
- Visitation Center volunteers work alongside Visitation Center Staff (Monitors) to assist visiting families with their needs. Volunteers are present during supervised visitation and aid the Monitor by helping take young children to the restroom, cleaning up after visits, and helping a family with any needs they may have with any equipment (stove, electronic, toy, etc.). Having a second person at the facility increases the safety for staff and families as well. A full time staff member is always present with the volunteer.
- Volunteers are scheduled in the evening and over the weekend. Evening hours range from 4:30pm-8:00pm Monday through Thursday. Saturday visits start as early as 8:00am and run as late as 2:00pm. These hours are subject to change and in some instances cancelations do occur. Volunteers let the RAFT Program Coordinator know what day(s) they are available to work at the start of the month and a calendar is created and posted in the RAFT Program Coordinator’s office.
- Volunteers must complete a training session with RAFT Program Coordinator to review duties and confidentiality. Must be 18 years or older.
If you have a personal desire to contribute and think that you might be interested in learning more about these opportunities to help, we would love to speak with you. Contact Our Home at 419-586-4663 or https://www.ourhomefrc.com/contact/ .
We would be remiss if we did not take time, in this discussion of volunteers, to express our sincere appreciation for all of our current volunteers who give so generously of their time and talents to us, to the programs we offer, and to the people we serve. Their hard work and dedication to this agency, and to the Mercer County community at large, deserves much praise.