- The following are other valuable volunteer opportunities potentially accommodating larger groups, groups with minors, or individuals looking for flexible or shorter-term obligations at IFC facilities:
(Please be sure to register your interest with the Volunteer Coordinator –see the volunteer home page under “To Volunteer” )
Donate A Room, a.k.a. Lotta Love: This is a program for decorating the residents’ rooms (one at a time, generally) at HomeStart, our women & children’s shelter, and at the Women’s Emergency shelter. It involves everything from color schemes and bedding to décor being installed by volunteers. The program leader has been procuring decorating items but has been in real need of physical help, including basic help with painting, putting up fixtures, and so on. Please look for additional details here.
Closet "Czar". In addition to needing individuals who can organize and maintain our donation closets and holiday decor closets, we really need someone to oversee and help coordinate when items are in the wrong facility, working with the individual closet-volunteers who handle each spot. Someone with flexibility and attention to detail, a willingness to follow-through and to cart items from one spot to another is the ideal fit.
Project History. This is a flexible and ongoing effort to collect oral histories among our clients. In addition to Interviewers (which we help train and orient to the project first), we need a Coordinator to help oversee the people who are doing the interviews and the selection among our clients with our social workers.
Yardwork/Gardening: All our residential facilities need periodic upkeep—leaf raking, mulch spreading, flower planting, trimming of off-season plants, garden bed weeding, construction or repair of garden beds/doors, and so forth. Some of this work would make a great periodic commitment for the right family or group of almost any size—maybe every other month, or once a quarter. A periodic commitment may be focused on specific task(s) or general outdoor maintenance. There may also be needs in any given month for these tasks as a single-effort project at one of the facilities or the other.
Administrative Help: We often find that we need help with things around the office, like data entry for those with computer skills, paper file review and consolidation, preparing thank you notes for donors, and so on. These tasks may last a few days to weeks, or may be irregular in that they are needed throughout the year for varying lengths of time.
→Due to the nature of our facilities, accommodating larger groups and groups with minors is currently quite difficult at IFC facilities (an exception: see Small Groups Volunteer Opportunities for which kitchen can accommodate minors) so off-site volunteering is a necessary and valued way to contribute to IFC’s efforts:
For minors who need service learning hours, consider the following ideas, or come up with another on behalf of the IFC. If you need documentation of time spent on the effort for school requirements—like a hat-&-gloves drive, for example—we can sign the school’s form and give you service hour credit (if applicable) for the time you spend designing a flier, distributing the form, collecting the hats & gloves, and then delivering the items to the IFC. Work with the Volunteer Coordinator to register your plans and meet your goals and IFC needs.
A Collection Drive:
- Baby Care Items: The IFC Pantry has year-round needs for all sorts of baby care and baby food items. Everything from infant sizes of diapers to baby wipes, baby wash, diaper creme, to high quality infant formulas and baby foods are essential for some of our families. These items lend themselves well to a collection drive among your congregation, office, neighborhood, or school. Once your collection is considered complete, arrange with the IFC for delivery of the items to the Pantry at the Carrboro Services building.
- Food Drive: The IFC Food Pantry is always in need of food items, i.e., bags of rice or beans, peanut butter, dry pasta, canned fruits/vegetables, hearty soups, canned tuna or chicken, etc. We can provide a form that helps individuals organize their own food drives; this form can be adapted to your neighborhood, office, school, and so on. Once your collection is considered complete, arrange with the IFC for delivery of the items to the Pantry at the Carrboro Services building.
Personal Care Items: The IFC Food Pantry distributes personal care items as part of our community outreach program. These items may include toothpaste, tooth brush, deodorant, shampoo, soap, razors, shaving cream, feminine care products, etc. Full size and travel-sizes are welcome. Once the items are collected through a drive organized by a volunteer, they can be assembled in kits per person in zipped bags or just brought in bulk in whatever amounts were collected, and delivered to the Carrboro Services building for distribution.
Birthday Bags: The Food Pantry also distributes birthday bags to our families that have a child celebrating a birthday. One each of: cake mix, frosting, birthday candles (no matches please), and a birthday card (can be purchased or homemade, extra fun for the volunteers to make) should be assembled in a colorful birthday bag, one per birthday, and as many as were made should be delivered to the Carrboro Services building for distribution.
Supplemental Meals: Supplemental food is prepared at the volunteers’ off-site kitchen (home or perhaps church or school) and then delivered to an IFC kitchen to be served at an upcoming meal. The supplemental items are served as they come in or are used in unexpected circumstances and so are not necessarily planned for. Supplemental food items should be prepared in larger aluminum pans that can be easily reheated or kept cold in the kitchen refrigerator. Some popular items for preparation include macaroni and cheese, chicken casserole, lasagna, vegetable casserole, potatoes, enchiladas, dessert items, and so on.
Fundraisers: Groups are encouraged to run fundraisers in support of the IFC. Some fundraiser ideas that are often successful include bake sale, carwash, neighborhood garage sale, candy bar sales, etc. Fundraisers have been as simple as a car wash or as complex as a golf tournament! Groups would decide on a project, get support from local businesses or friends and neighbors, publicize as needed, hold the fundraiser, and then donate all or a portion of the proceeds to the IFC.
Party Planning: Throughout the year, we all need to find occasional reasons to relax and to celebrate, and our clients and volunteers are no exception. Individuals, or small or large groups, with our without kids, with a real knack for party-planning and a few weeks of time available to do so, are invited to consider throwing a party, complete with refreshments and decorations you supply. It might be as simple as a potluck meal put together during a training session, to an elaborate 4th of July picnic in a local park, or a mid-sized February “every day is Valentine’s when somebody cares”-themed event at one of our facilities. If this is of interest, contact our Volunteer Coordinator to suggest and see if there is a need and a schedule to be worked out.
photography by Jack Benjamin