YOU MUST BE AT LEAST 21 TO VOLUNTEER AND HAVE YOUR OWN TRANSPORTATION. YOU MUST LIVE IN ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA.
You do not need any special skills to be a volunteer. Being a successful volunteer is not about skills, it’s about showing up, both physically and mentally and engaging with our clients. If you love people, are compassionate, can follow rules and, can leave your judgments at home, you’re qualified. Our clients, both small and large have hard lives, full of disappointments and broken promises. We bring smiling faces, loving hearts and we remember their names.
Pick up bread and food from local grocery stores
pick up before 9:30 a.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays
Food and Resource delivery to local motels
10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
1:30 to 3 p.m.
(Arts, Crafts, Games)
Let us know what your skills are, what you like to do. Do you like paperwork or working with the computer? Are you organized? Good with spreadsheets or word processing? Do you like to sort things and make them look shipshape? Would you like to organize a drive? Tell us what you like to do.
All volunteers must go through an orientation meeting with the Executive Director before participating in any program. Because of the inherent dangers we encounter in the motels we do not have “ride-a-longs” or “look sees”.
Anyone coming out with us, even for a day, must complete and submit an application for our review and go through orientation.
We do not require time commitments, but we do spend time orienting our volunteers before they are ever allowed on motel premises, so we do not offer one time or group activities.
All our volunteer activities occur under the direction of a team leader. Volunteers are never sent to the motels alone.
(Anyone working in any program with exposure to children, i.e., Family Program will be required to get a Life Scan background check from their local police department. If you cannot pass the background check, do not apply.)
Jennifer’s Story: A Volunteer’s Perspective
I started volunteering with Project Dignity after reading an article in the OC Register about the Children’s Program. I was intrigued that people were going out to motels and serving lunch and doing crafts with kids for a few hours every Sunday in the motel parking lot. Before reading the article I had no idea that people actually used the motels as a residence.
Soon after I started volunteering I realized what Project Dignity does is so much more than just playing with kids for a few hours. I realized the adults loved hanging out with us too; it was a way for them to get out of their rooms for a couple of hours and enjoy the sun. It was a place to chit chat about the weather or sit and play a game, maybe it was a place the clients could just feel normal for a few hours.
I also met elderly seniors living on their own, they would come out in hopes to get some of the lunch that we brought that day and maybe a little human interaction. It broke my heart to think about seniors living alone in a motel for their golden years but I was so happy to see them smiling when Project Dignity pulled into the parking lot.
The thing I love about volunteering the most is how simple Project Dignity’s concept is but what a powerful impact it has on people. I saw the power of simplicity when I volunteered on a Tuesday and helped pass out food at a few of the motels.
People were so happy to see us not only because we brought simple supplies like soup, toilet paper & shampoo or maybe a bus pass so they can get to their job interview. They were also happy to see us and wait for a hug.
I never realized the small details of life that I took for granted like toilet paper or a hug from a friend. I believe the small details that Project Dignity provides can help sustain clients and allows them to use their energy and resources to try and move on from the motels. It also gives clients hope that someone actually cares about their struggles.
Without going out to volunteer I never would have understood the concept of helping people the way Project Dignity helps.
If I could give a new volunteer advice I would tell them don’t assume you know who you are helping and be flexible on how you are interacting with clients. I have learned the diversity of the residents and they aren’t who I thought they were going to be.
Volunteering for Project Dignity opened my eyes, expanded my mind and warmed my heart.