FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What type of volunteer opportunities do you offer?
The Carter Burden Network offers a range of volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups, including a one-time service day or a long-term commitment. A list and description of our volunteer opportunities are available on our website in three sections; “Individuals”, “Community Groups” and “Corporate Groups”. If you have questions about our volunteer opportunities, please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I become involved in your programs?
In addition to the volunteer opportunities listed on our website, we also regularly post and update our volunteer opportunities on websites such as Idealist, VolunteerMatch and NYC Service. If you are interested in a specific volunteer opportunity, you can contact us through these websites or simply e-mail us at: email@example.com.
Where are you located?
Our volunteer opportunities take place at different locations. The location of each volunteer opportunity is stated on our volunteer website page. The most common locations for our volunteer opportunities are: the Carter Burden/Leonard Covello Senior Program (312 East 109th Street) and off-site locations (seniors’ homes). Our Volunteer Services Department is located at the Carter Burden/Leonard Covello Senior Program located in East Harlem.
How does the application process work?
Our Volunteer Services department receives and reviews volunteer applications, and coordinates volunteers’ placement to provide you the most meaningful experience. The application process is based on the type of volunteer opportunity. E-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help get you started on the application process
Do you do a background check?
In order to ensure the seniors’ safety, volunteers may be subject to a background check.
How long is my commitment?
Our opportunities range from a one-time service day (Meal Service, Special Projects and Special Events & Holidays) to a long-term volunteer commitment (Friendly Visiting, Grocery Shopping Assistance, Telefriend, Class Instruction & Assistance, Interns) requiring a six-month commitment.
Do I need to commit to specific hours every week? Do you offer flexible volunteer opportunities?
Our volunteer opportunities page lists the hours and location for each program. Some of them require a specific shift during the day and the week. All volunteers are placed depending on the seniors and the organization’s needs, but we always try to accommodate your request.
Do you provide an orientation and explanation for new volunteers?
An orientation detailing our organization’s mission and the day’s events will be given upon your arrival. Our goal is to ensure all volunteers are aware of the impact their volunteer time will have on our clients and organization.
All Meal Service volunteers will have a detailed description of the tasks and guidelines along with any special instructions. Also, Meal Service volunteers will have on-site staff supervision.
In addition, for the Friendly Visiting, Grocery Shopping Assistance and Telefriend volunteers, an orientation is given over the phone and a training manual is also provided and discussed.
Why do you ask for a photography release form?
To promote volunteerism on social media, we do ask groups and individuals to fill out a photography release form. You always have the opportunity to decline this request.
Do I have to track my volunteer hours?
It is very important that the Carter Burden Network has accurate and timely records of volunteer hours. Having this information helps us obtain and retain funding for our programs.
We ask you to submit your hours every time you volunteer with us. We do provide an online and user-friendly link. For volunteers on-site, tablets are available to complete the form. For volunteers off-site, the link is provided and a reminder email is sent every month.
What is the age requirement to volunteer?
We provide volunteer opportunities for individuals of all ages. Please inform the Volunteer Services Department in advance if you have children in your group or if your group will require special accommodations to enhance your volunteer experience.
Carter Burden Network age specific rules are as follows.
All CBN volunteer opportunities require individuals or groups with children 14 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult or chaperone.
Volunteers 18 and younger are prohibited from being in the kitchen unless accompanied by an adult or chaperone.
What can I wear to volunteer?
We recommend all volunteers wear clothes they are comfortable in and wouldn’t mind getting a little dirty! Please remember, volunteers are in contact with staff, seniors, other volunteers or organizations and should wear appropriate clothing. Volunteers involved in Meal Service are required to put on hairnets, gloves and aprons provided by the organization.
Do you have an emergency protocol?
Some of our volunteer opportunities take place off-site (Friendly Visiting, Grocery Shopping Assistance, Telefriend) and you interact directly with seniors. In the case of a medical emergency, call 911. Once you’ve called 911, call a Volunteer Services staff at (212-423-9665 ext. 423). On the weekend or after hours, leave a message with the Carter Burden Network at 212-879-7400. The social worker on call will receive the message and take action. If a senior falls in your presence, do not help him or her up. Call 911 and allow the emergency medical technicians to come to his or her rescue.
Do you have guidelines for volunteers? What can I do when I have concerns about a senior’s behavior?
To ensure a successful and rewarding time together, it is important to understand and follow our guidelines. These guidelines are in place to ensure you fully understand the volunteer assignment and assist you in situations that may occur during your volunteer experience such as, if a client expresses a need for a service that you cannot provide and explains how to set limits with your senior. If a senior asks you to do any of the tasks that are not mentioned by a Volunteer Services staff, explain that this is not part of the volunteer assignment or refer them to a Volunteer Services staff. If you do not feel comfortable with a certain activity, feel free to tell the senior that it is against the volunteer policy of the Carter Burden Network. Specific guidelines for Friendly Visiting, Grocery Shopping Assistance and Telefriend can be found in the Volunteer Handbook.