Current Volunteer Opportunities
Would you like to make a difference in someone’s life and make a new friend? Volunteers are needed to visit with a senior for at least an hour per week to share fun and conversation. Time can be spent reading, walking, playing games, or getting out to run errands or attend a fun community event. Use your imagination!
Board of Directors
If you would be interested in information regarding a position on our board, please contact us. We are interested in people who see the value in the mission and work of Befrienders and who are willing to represent the organization within their various networks and communities.
Befriender Volunteer FAQs:
What is the time commitment for volunteer visitors?
Befrienders asks for a minimum six month commitment from its volunteer visitors, though obviously longer is better. We ask for this commitment because it can be very difficult for a senior to meet someone new every few months.
While you are a Befrienders visitor, you will be asked to spend a minimum of one hour per week visiting with your senior. If you and your senior would like to make the visits longer or more frequent, you may feel free to do so.
What do I do if I’m a Befrienders visitor and I have to miss several weeks of visits because I’m going out of town?
It is completely understandable that visitors will need to miss their visits from time to time. Please always make sure your senior knows if you are going to miss a visit and if you are going to be gone for two or more weeks, please also let the Executive Director of Befrienders know by calling 522-8169. While you are away, please consider calling or sending mail to your senior as they may be especially lonely in your absence.
What sorts of things do Befrienders seniors and visitors do together?
This really depends on the match. Befrienders visitors and seniors are matched together based on common interests and availability, and the seniors who come to us are all different. Some live in assisted living facilities and have no family to speak of. Others live with their spouses, children or other family members, but need a friend, either because they spend so much time with their caregiver that they just need to get away (and their caregiver needs a break), or because their caregivers are always asking them to do things (grooming, physical therapy, etc.) and they just need someone to visit who doesn’t want anything from them. Some seniors just want someone to take them to the grocery store and to run other errands. Others want to go for short hikes, out to coffee or on adventures! Still others have mobility issues and just need someone who is willing to sit and visit with them. The expectations of every volunteer/senior match are different, but each match has the potential to change the lives of both the senior and the volunteer visitor for the better.
Do any of the seniors in the program have regular visitors aside from Befrienders visitors?
Yes, a few of the seniors in the program have family members that visit them regularly and approximately 19% live with at least one family member. This does not mean they will not benefit from having an additional visitor. There are seven days in a week and as one of our supporters recently said, “The days can get pretty long when you’re single.”
Do I need to have a car to be a Befrienders visitor?
It is very rare for a senior in our program to be able to drive. For this reason, it is helpful if Befrienders visitors have a car and are willing to drive their senior places such as the grocery store, pharmacy and Wal-mart. That having been said, Befrienders does accept volunteers who do not own a car.
What is the process for becoming a Befrienders visitor?
Any person that wants to become a Befrienders visitor must first fill out a volunteer application and pass a criminal background check and reference check before they can be matched up. This process can take one day to two weeks, depending on how quickly the volunteer’s references respond. For expedited processing, please let your references know that Befrienders will be calling them.
After the potential volunteer visitor is screened, they meet with the Befrienders Executive Director for an interview where they discuss their personal history and interests and what sorts of things they’d like to do with a senior. If there is a senior whose needs and interests match those of the volunteer, they will be matched up. The Executive Director will accompany the volunteer visitor to the first meeting in order to facilitate introductions.
Does Befrienders provide any sort of training or support to Befrienders visitors?
In February 2015 Befrienders implemented a required volunteer training. In addition to this required two hour training before entering our program, Volunteers receive ongoing support in the form of “check-ins” every few months to see if there is a need for additional support or information as well as the ability to contact the Executive Director for support and guidance at any time.
In addition, the Executive Director sends volunteer visitors a monthly email with information about aging issues, a calendar of free or low-cost community events that they may want to attend with their senior, and any news about upcoming Befrienders events or exciting news. In addition, the Executive Director is available at any time to answer questions or help solve problems. Volunteer visitors can contact them at 522-8169.
I have children that may sometimes accompany me on my visits. Is this alright?
If you would like to have your children accompany you on visits, please make sure you tell the Executive Director this when you meet for your interview. Some seniors love having children visit them, but other do not. It may be more difficult to match a parent with a child to a senior, but we do do it and for those seniors that like having children around, it can be such a happy match!
What if I have other unanswered questions? Call the Executive Director anytime at 522-8169 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.