Volunteer FAQ’s

Q1. Can I just show up?
Answer: No. Before you can volunteer we will need you to contact the volunteer department. If we have an opening in an area where you would be a good fit, they will send you a link to the volunteer application form.

Q2. How much time is required to volunteer?
Answer: While you are not required to volunteer a specific amount of hours, most of our opportunities require a commitment of three to six months.

Q3. What if my group wants to volunteer but they are under 13?
Answer: The most helpful way to volunteer is to coordinate a drive of some kind. The facilities are always in need of donations such as food, clothing, hygiene items, cleaning supplies, household items, gift cards, etc. Currently, our greatest needs are canned food and diapers.

Q4. How long is the commitment to volunteer for a specific project?
Answer: It depends on the project. Some projects require a three to six month commitment while others are on a flexible basis.

Q5. Can I volunteer for more than one project?
Answer: Yes! Many of our volunteers serve in more than one area.

Q6. What if I can’t volunteer on a regular basis?
Answer: That is no problem. Just let us know when your schedule permits you to volunteer and you can volunteer in one of the more flexible projects.

Q7. Is it safe to volunteer at your facility?
Answer: Yes. We take all necessary precautions to make the Mission a safe place for volunteers, clients, guests and staff.

Q8. Can I use my volunteer time to complete a school requirement or community service?
Answer: Yes. If you are completing hours for community service, you will need to speak with a volunteer coordinator and go through a preliminary phone or in-person interview before you are allowed to volunteer. Please remember to bring in all necessary papers you will need signed when you come in to volunteer.

Q9. I work Monday through Friday. What kinds of things can I do that aren’t during work hours?
Answer: We have several volunteer opportunities that occur during weekends. Contact the volunteer department for a list of our current openings.

Q10. What do I do if I can’t attend when I am scheduled to volunteer?
Answer: Please call or email the Volunteer department. If you are unable to do so, call the facility where you were scheduled to volunteer to let them know.

Q11. Can we eat with the clients?
Answer: You are allowed to eat with the clients after everyone has been served and if there is enough food.

Q12. Do you need volunteers for Thanksgiving and Christmas meal services?
Answer: We hold a special meal service for needy families on both Thanksgiving and Christmas. We also have the regular meal services around the holidays and every day of the week for three meals a day. Please keep in mind that volunteers begin calling to volunteer on Thanksgiving as early as September and our available positions fill up before early October.

Q13.What other volunteer opportunities do you have?
Answer: We have several opportunities ranging from meal service to tutoring to painting. Many of our opportunities vary from month to month, depending on availability. Please contact us for more information.

Q14. How do I sign up for a specific volunteer opportunity?
Answer: Contact one of the volunteer coordinators at the Orange County Rescue Mission and let them know what you are interested in.

Q15. Is there a dress code for volunteers?
Answer: Volunteers must wear close-toed shoes (no sandals or flip-flops) and have all long hair pulled back. Please wear appropriate, modest clothing (nothing with derogatory images or words) while volunteering.

Q16. What if I have a special skill but you do not have it listed in the volunteer opportunities?
Answer: Let us know what your skills are! We love our volunteers to be creative. This can include anything from hair styling to a wellness class to a musical performance. Speak with a volunteer coordinator and we will let you know if there are ways we can incorporate your talent/skill.

Q17. Do I need to complete a background check to volunteer?
Answer: Most likely! We have a Live Scan machine on site and can complete your background check free of charge. Nearly all volunteer positions need a Live Scan. We will let you know if your position requires one.

Q18. Do you need donations?
Answer: Yes. We accept donations of food, clothing, hygiene items, over-the-counter medications, cleaning supplies, office supplies, household items, gift cards to low-cost eateries and department stores, gas stations and entertainment. Please check our urgent needs list for current needs.

Q19. Can groups volunteer?
Answer: Absolutely. Groups between (7 and 20) can volunteer for special projects, food drives, and other opportunities. We generally need at least one or two months advance notice to plan group activites.

Q20. Do you allow individuals to complete community service hours?
Answer: It varies. We cannot always accomodate requests for community service hours, depending on the time frame required and the amount of hours needed. However, we will do what we can to find a placement within our volunteer opportunities, and will inform you promptly if we are unable to place you.

Q21.What is the process for becoming a volunteer?
Answer: To begin, you must contact the volunteer department. They will send you the volunteer application and a liability waiver. Once this is returned to us, you may call and schedule your Live Scan appointment. Once the results from your Live Scan come back, you will be cleared to begin volunteering.

Q22. What is the age limit for volunteers?
Answer: Volunteers must be 13 years of age to volunteer. Any volunteer under the age of 18 will need adult supervision (a 1:5 ratio of adults to teens).