We have recently implemented a volunteer-based program that focuses on building one on one relationships and friendships with those in our services. Our newly established F.R.I.E.N.D program seeks to match community members with an adult who has an intellectual disability, in an effort to enhance and grow the individual’s community involvement and personal self-enrichment through development of more natural relationships.
How it Works
As a volunteer with the FRIEND Program, you would spend your time doing a variety of things with your matched FRIEND. You would spend time doing a range of activities that you both could enjoy doing together. One day you could be doing a project in our art room and the next you could be out in the community shopping at the mall or going on a hike. The possibilities are endless and there is a vast array of activities and ways to spend time together that would be enjoyable for the both of you!
We are seeking volunteers willing and able to dedicate at least one year to the program. Once a volunteer is matched with someone from our services, we encourage a personal visit to take place at least twice a month and weekly communication through text, phone call, written communication, social media or email. We understand that in today’s society we all have busy lives and sometimes volunteering can be difficult, so we are FLEXIBLE with scheduling and do not require volunteers to set a specific schedule or maintain a certain amount of hours.
How to Apply:
There are a couple of ways you can apply.
- Online at : https://goo.gl/forms/TICJFl94NEnnpxeF2
- Come by our office between the hours of 8am and 4pm Monday through Friday
The Matching Process:
To assure this opportunity is both beneficial and enriching for both people involved, we take extra efforts to assure that when “matches” are made they are well thought out and mutually appropriate. Those interested in the program go through an interview processed designed to gauge their personality and interests, in order to create a great match.
Once a match is made, the volunteer returns for an orientation/training and a meet and greet with their new FRIEND! Our hope is that through taking these steps to intricately match volunteers, we can assure any relationship developed is a long and rewarding one.
I was looking for a volunteer opportunity and came across the FRIEND program. I did some research and decided this was a good fit for me. What I have found is this program is so much more than a chance to give back. It has put an amazing person named Sharon in my life. Sharon is one of the sweetest people I know and we have much more in common than I ever thought. We love some of the same movies, music and we are both parents. I’m looking forward to spending more time with Sharon and her friends from Cross Plains. I feel like they have become my friends too. -Bridget Stewart
When I signed up to be a volunteer for Cross Plains I was really excited to meet my future friend and was hoping I could make a difference in someone’s life. During the orientation, the staff was super friendly and they all seemed like genuinely good people and gave me a warm welcome. I was so happy when I was matched with Belinda. Hearing about how she loved art and loved dancing reassured me that we would get along wonderfully. When I met Belinda, I knew I was meant to be there volunteering. As I continue to get to know Belinda I realize more and more every time I visit with her how funny and sweet she is. I feel like she has made a huge impact on my life already and we are still in the process of getting to know each other. I hope to maintain our friendship for my remaining time volunteering and hope to stay in touch long after my year is up. -Halle Perkins
If you would like more information on the program you can contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 706-278-8143 ext:116 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org