Who are the volunteers of WHBW?
Who would choose to give up their Saturday morning to answer crisis calls or help diaper a fussy infant? They are mothers, grandmothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, professionals, teachers, artists, students and survivors. They are community women and men helping community. They are the roots of the domestic violence movement. They are the roots of Women Helping Battered Women.
WHBW depends on volunteers to keep all of our services and programs running smoothly and consistently. If you have time and energy to give, can make a commitment, and want to get involved in social change, please contact us via the information listed above — or download our volunteer application packet and follow the instructions on the form. Our volunteer opportunities vary and range from working directly with victims and children to working “behind the scenes.”
If you have particular skills in other areas that you think would benefit WHBW, please contact us. Bilingual individuals, people with disabilities, deaf individuals, people of color, LGBTQ individuals and survivors of domestic abuse are especially encouraged to volunteer. Thank you for deciding to be part of our community and to help to end domestic violence!
We host New Advocate Training three times a year in January, May, and September. This training is 20 hours of comprehensive workshops facilitated by our staff and community partners. Full participation of our training is required to earn Victim and Crisis Worker Privilege in the state of Vermont. This privilege protects an advocate from being subpoenaed to testify for or against a person they are trying to help. It is recommended for anyone considering a volunteer position at WHBW to attend Volunteer Orientation Night, part of our New Advocate training. All prospective direct-service volunteers must attend the full 20 hours of training prior to working with our service users. If the volunteer would like to answer our Hotline, an addition 16 hours of training is also needed. We make a large effort to accommodate any and everyone interested in volunteering, however we need to maintain reasonable expectations of our staff’s ability to supervise. Volunteers will be asked to fill out appropriate background checks for their program of interest.
Here is a sample of what the training agenda will look like: New Advocate Training Agenda
Volunteer Positions and Opportunities
We at WHBW believe strongly in self-care and the healing process.
For Direct Service volunteers, we recommend that survivors have 1 to 2 years since active abuse to ensure emotional readiness. For those who have recently experienced domestic abuse, we appreciate your experience for special events as a general volunteer.
General Volunteer/Events Volunteer
As a general or events volunteer you will become involved in any or all of the exciting events WHBW puts on throughout the year. Duties may include set up, tabling events, registration, Board and Staff support, clean up, etc. Below is a list of annual events put on by our organization, and possible volunteer opportunities for each. More events and fundraisers may arise. General and event volunteers are encouraged to attend our orientation night prior to volunteering.
Phone-a-thon – Volunteers will be calling past sponsors soliciting monetary donations or assisting with follow up correspondence with potential donors. Not much of a talker? Help out the admin volunteers with behind the scenes processing paperwork. (March)
Zumbathon – Help with setup, registration, assisting participants, or participate yourself. The 2014 Zumbathon was our biggest fundraiser ever! (March 28, 2015)
Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Assist with numerous events during this month long community effort. (October)
School Supply Drive – Donations to our Children and Youth Program are distributed to families in need. (August/September)
Holiday Program – Sponsor a child by fulfilling their wish list. We will provide you with the age and gender of the child and the option to buy up to four gifts, not to exceed $100. If you represent a business or organization, please consider sponsoring a whole family. Volunteers can also help with organizing gifts donated by community partners! (December)
Run for Empowerment – Annual fundraiser organized by the WHBW board. Register or direct runners, tend a water station, or participate yourself! (June 20, 2015)
United Way Days of Caring – Group cleaning, repairs, and upgrades at all of WHBW’s locations. (Spring/Fall)
Volunteer opportunities include, but are not limited to greeter, data entry, organizing and arranging mailings, and other office duties. Hours are between 9am and 5pm at 294 North Winooski Ave in Burlington.
Donations and Cell Phone Assistant
Help us manage and sort our donations while interacting with visitors and office staff. Transport items to other sites. Help us recycle old phones via the Shelter Network and convert them into 911 phones for Service Users. Hours are between 9 and 5 at 294 North Winooski Ave in Burlington. Volunteers are asked to attend our general orientation night.
Legal Advocacy Program
Legal volunteers will provide emotional support to Service Users during court, Legal Clinic, and may assist with Relief from Abuse Orders and other basic forms. These volunteer positions’ screening and selection process will be detailed. This is a Direct Service position and will receive 20 hours of Victim and Crisis Worker Privilege certification training and many opportunities to gain additional skills. Legal interest is encouraged. We appreciate a minimum of a one year commitment of service for this volunteer position.
Other ways to support the legal program include child care during court hearings, Legal Clinic, and other times as needed. The Legal Advocacy Program is also in need of administrative tasks such as filing and note taking.
Shelter and Hotline Program
Provide emotional support, options advocacy and information to survivors and families in crisis while keeping with WHBW’s mission. Hotline volunteers will receive 20 hours of Victim and Crisis Worker Privilege certification training and 16 hours of hotline training. Hotline volunteers typically work once or twice a month in four hour shifts; both day and evening shifts are available seven days a week. We appreciate a one year commitment of service for this volunteer position.
Volunteers help maintain a clean and safe shelter for women and children who are fleeing from abuse. Shelter duties include organizing donations, cleaning shelter, childcare, and interaction with shelter residents. Shelter volunteers will receive 20 hours of Victim and Crisis Worker Privilege certification training and many opportunities to gain additional skills. Shelter volunteers typically volunteer twice a month in four hour shifts; both day and evening shifts are available seven days a week. We appreciate a minimum of a one year commitment of service for this volunteer position.
Children and Youth Program Volunteers
Volunteers will work directly with children who are affected by domestic violence. Duties include facilitating playgroups, organizing and participating in the holiday program for children, providing one on one mentor to children in need, and small event help such as beach parties and ball games. Children and youth volunteers will receive 20 hours of Victim and Crisis Privilege Worker certification training. We appreciate a one year commitment of service for this volunteer position.
Education and Outreach
Volunteers will help bring our mission and message to local schools and organizations. As an education and outreach volunteer, you will educate the community about domestic violence and develop the resources to help individual and families in need. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in community advocacy.
Looking for credit hours for your high school requirement? Help us collect old cell phones! Earn one credit hour for every three cell phones you collect. Earn unlimited hours! This opportunity is through the “Shelter Alliance” recycle program. Teens are also able to volunteer with Events and Education and Outreach. Teens can host a performance, food drive, or awareness event at their school.
Lend your profession expertise to our organization. Committee members aid in human resources, finance, and governance expertise. Committee work includes research, development, and long term planning. Committee members typically have prior experience with the work or have volunteered long term in any of WHBW’s other programs.
Businesses, organizations, community members, and teams are encouraged to volunteer with special projects or through the United Way Days of Caring. Projects include setting up a play structure, hosting an awareness event, or adopting a room in our shelter. Opportunities will be at any of our locations and hours vary based on the individual project.