A program volunteer is a “hands-on” assistant to Youth Challenge participants. Volunteers are paired one-on-one with a participant partner at each activity to help them adapt the day’s program while serving as a mentor, coach and friend in the process. Program volunteers report directly to the Director of Volunteer Services and other Program Staff and serves at their discretion.
To become a YC program volunteer you must:
- Be age 12 or older
- Be trained to work with and to meet the needs of children with physical disabilities. Training sessions are held prior to each program season.
- Know the volunteer responsibilities.
- Be able to provide your own transportation to and from programs.
- Complete the required forms prior to participation in activities.
Benefits & Incentives
- Fulfill service hour requirements for school, church, or community credit.
- Develop a new appreciation and awareness of young people with physical disabilities.
- Gain exposure to different career opportunities in the health, recreation, and social service fields.
- Build leadership skills and increase self-esteem, confidence, and independence.
- Become involved in new physical and recreational ventures.
- Travel to exciting locations and take part in activities for FREE!
- Make a positive impact on the lives of others (while making a difference in your own!)
- Create great friendships that will last a lifetime.
- Meet WOO-onderful people and just have FUN!
Volunteer Awards and Recognition, including: Volunteer of the Week; Top 10 Volunteers of the Year; 50, 100, 250 and 500 Hour Volunteers; Volunteer of the Year; Student Intern on the Board of Trustees; and much more!
Please fill out this form if you have questions or would like to get involved:
OTHER VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
See below for more ways you can help! If you have any questions or would like to get involved, contact Director of Volunteer & Outreach Services, Sarah Cooney at (440) 892-1001.
Grab your Key Club, youth group, company, athletic team, Kiwanis group or other friends and help Youth Challenge in the following ways:
- Help us run a program or create and implement an activity of your own! Past activities include holiday parties, dances/mixers, Olympic days, Krazy Kamps and MORE. Projects can be discussed with Program Staff to best meet your group’s needs.
- Prepare or provide food for a summer or weekend program.
- Help raise funds. Hold a bake sale, organize a pop-tab drive, get friends and family to sponsor you for every point you make during your team’s season or think up another fun way to help support Youth Challenge. No gift is too small!
- Get down and dirty. Help us wash our fleet of lift-equipped vans or keep our gym equipment squeaky clean. Bring in your group, grab a bucket, and get ready to work!
- Donate new or slightly used items to YC. We are always in search of sports equipment, gifts for volunteers, prizes for children to be given at various activities, and various items off our Wish List. Give us a call if you have something to bring in!
- Share your skills. Help out behind the scenes or with the kids at programs as they try their hand at a new sport. You can help coach a game, run an activity, lead us in song, help us with our annual benefit, and much more.
- BE CREATIVE! Do you have another way your group might be able to help out? LET US KNOW!
Transportation for participants is an important service at YC. Volunteer Drivers are needed year-round to help participants get to and from programs. Schedules are flexible! Volunteer Drivers can determine which day and times they’d like to work. Before a Volunteer Driver can get behind the wheel, they must first go through an interview and training process with YC staff. Volunteer Drivers must also have a clean driving record and submit a background check. Please contact Youth Challenge if interested in this opportunity.
YELP (Youth Empowerment and Leadership Program)
YELP provides monthly programs and weekly Peer Support sessions for YC participants age 16 to 25. These sports, service and social activities are a great way for young adults with physical disabilities to stay active and involved while increasing their independence. Older teen/young adult volunteers are needed at these various events to help and to mentor club members. Volunteer training is required.
Assist van drivers along their route of picking up and/or dropping off YC participants before and/or after a scheduled program. Help to provide an atmosphere of safety and fun during the trip. Opportunities available during the summer for veteran volunteers.
Provide assistance in the Youth Challenge office with various clerical duties, including answering phones, database work, bulk mailings and more. Opportunities are available throughout the year on an as-needed basis.