What Volunteers Do
What do volunteers do at the Caring Place?
Caring Place volunteers take on a number of different roles. The majority spend their time interacting with the families on group nights at the Caring Place while other volunteers work to sew together the quilts or take care of special projects.
Volunteers in the group sessions
When families meet in their groups, facilitators, family greeters and food servers all work together to welcome the families to the Caring Place. The evenings begin with dinner together in the large forum. This serves as a time of transition from outside to inside the Caring Place. The volunteers eat and talk and laugh or just listen, sitting with the children and adults as they unwind from the stresses of the day and begin to focus on the evening together.
After eating, talking, and maybe playing some games, the large groups break into smaller age-specific groups.
Two or more facilitators work together in groups of preschoolers, young children, middle-school-age children, teens or adults. As a team and with the Caring Place staff, the volunteers decide on the activities for the evening, work with the children or adults in implementing these activities and facilitate the group process.
The food servers, along with the greeters, play an important role in helping the families feel comfortable when they first enter the Caring Place, as these volunteers have a chance to get to know and interact on a consistent basis with all family members. In addition to serving food and wrapping up leftover food for the families when they leave, they also monitor the hallways during group time, making sure the children remain safe.
Family greeters work with the food servers to greet the families and help make them comfortable at the Caring Place. Greeters are the first people who families see when they enter the Caring Place. Their main role is to help the families feel welcome and comfortable. Greeters also help organize the group sessions by signing in families and distributing name tags. At the end of the evening, they make sure nametags are collected and give leftover food to families as they leave. During the group meetings, they work with the food servers to monitor the hallways.
The Caring Place holds several major events and projects throughout the year. Project volunteers help with these time-limited events.
Families create quilt squares in honor and memory of their loved ones during the time they are at the Caring Place. A group of dedicated quilters works together to arrange and sew these squares into quilts, which after being dedicated to the families, hang on the walls of the Caring Place.