College of Health and Human Services

Fort Wayne Community Volunteer Opportunities

Fort Wayne Community Volunteer Opportunities

This Helping Hands guide was compiled by the IPFW Department of Human Services to help promote volunteerism within the Fort Wayne community.

Volunteer Guidelines

As you begin your service with a community organization, you are probably eager to get involved and make a difference in the lives of the people with whom you will be working. We expect that you will view yourself as a representative of IPFW, and as such, we ask that you carefully read through and abide by the following guidelines to ensure you will have the most meaningful and worthwhile volunteer experience possible.

When in doubt, ask for help.

Your site supervisor understands the issues at your site and you are encouraged to approach him or her with problems or questions as they arise. They can assist you in determining that best way to respond in difficult or uncomfortable situations.

Although you are volunteering your time, you are participating in the organization as a reliable, trustworthy, and contributing member of the team. Both your supervisor and the clients whom you serve rely on your punctuality and commitment to help the organization meet its goals and mission within the community.

Call if you anticipate lateness or absence.

Call your supervisor if you are unable to come or if you anticipate being late. The community agency depends on your contributed services and will be at a loss if you fail to come in as scheduled. Be mindful of their needs.

Respect the privacy of all clients.

If you are privy to confidential information with regard to the persons with whom you are working, such as organizational files, diagnostics, medical histories, personal stories, or other classified agency, employee, or client information, it is vital that you treat it as privileged information. Certain organizations will require you to sign a confidentiality contract. Even if they don't, remember to treat such information as confidential.

Be appropriate.

You are in a work situation and are expected to treat your supervisor, co-workers, and clients with courtesy and kindness. Dress appropriately for the type of activity to be performed. For example if doing yard work or manual labor, old well-worn clothing would be appropriate. However if the activity entails office work or representing the organization in public, suitable attire should be worn. If in doubt, please call the organization prior to arriving. Observe the organizations rules regarding smoking, eating or drinking while on duty. Do not make personal calls from the organization’s phone. Do not bring unauthorized persons, especially children, with you unless they have been pre-approved by the organization.

Be flexible.

The level or intensity of activity at a service site is not always predictable. Your flexibility to changing situations can assist the operation to run smoothly and produce positive outcomes for everyone involved.

Have a positive attitude! Be motivated, energized, and willing to perform the duties requested. Use common sense and conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times. Every site has its own rules, policies, procedures, protocols, and expectations for which you are responsible. Familiarize yourself with the workings of the organization. This will contribute to the success of your volunteer experience. Good luck and thank you for helping to improve the Fort Wayne community by volunteering.

Donation Guidelines

  • Before donating an item, ask yourself if you’d give it to a relative or friend.
  • Technical equipment such as computers, monitors, printers, and digital cameras should be in excellent condition, up to date and preferably new. Include all necessary documentation, drivers, and cables.
  • Leave donations with attendants on duty, and ONLY during business hours. Donations dropped off outside business hours encourage theft.
  • Clothing should be new or like new without stains or tears. Wash or dry-clean clothing prior to delivery.
  • Test electrical equipment and battery-operated items to ensure that it works. • Include all pieces and parts to games and toys. If needed, put parts in a Ziploc bag.

The guidelines listed above are adapted from Mount Union College and Bridgepointe Goodwill.