Volunteer Opportunities

Thank you for considering a volunteer role with Safe Alliance. Our volunteers are a valued and integral part of the work that we do. These passionate, and caring group of citizens change the lives of our clients through direct service to people in crisis, fundraising, or administrative support, and we truly are grateful.

We have opportunities for individuals, social and corporate groups to work in our Shelter, in our offices, in local hospitals and at events. Whether you want to donate a couple of hours or take on a regular shift for the next year, we've got something to fit your needs.

Where to start? The first step is to decide which type of volunteer opportunity interests you, so please look at the many different ways you can help.  Once you've identified a role, please fill out our volunteer application at the bottom of this page.

Please note: For those roles that involve contact with clients, we complete a thorough application and criminal background check. Additionally, many roles require that volunteers be 18 or older, so please let us know if you're not 18 and we'll be sure to find the right fit for you.

 



Volunteer Options

The Clyde and Ethel Dickson Domestic Violence Shelter

The Clyde & Ethel Dickson Domestic Violence Shelter is located on a five-acre site in West Charlotte. It offers 80 beds and provides triage services in addition to longer-term care.

We encourage you to participate in Collection Drives to assist our residents who are living at the domestic violence shelter.

Kitchen Help
We are looking for help in the kitchen to prepare, serve and clean up from meals. We serve three meals a day to our residents, so lots of teams are needed!  We can accommodate up to 6 volunteers in the kitchen per shift (no exceptions can be made).  Lunch and dinner shifts are available every day, and breakfast shifts are available on the weekends.  Please see the documents below for additional information. 
Kitchen Volunteers Guidelines & Expectations
Relationship Agreement
Volunteer Information - Group


Safe Alliance is a partner agency of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina (SHFBM). SHFBM partners and distributes food and essential grocery items to approximately 550 hunger feeding agencies in 19 counties in North and South Carolina. Agencies served include emergency pantries, soup kitchens, senior programs, shelters and low-income daycares.

Shelter Operations Volunteers
This team works throughout the Shelter taking on different duties as the needs arise: answering phones, greeting guests, sorting donations, delivering supplies to residents, performing general office work and light cleaning. Volunteers must commit to at least one three-hour shift per month (8-11AM, 11-2PM, 2-5PM, 5-8PM) and require a one year commitment; of special need are volunteers who can be available during the work day. Complete the Volunteer Profile above, and we'll be in touch!

Children's Volunteers
This team assures that children in our Shelter get the support they need. Specially trained volunteers, these caring individuals provide guidance to children living through troubled times. They act as babysitters, tutors, playground monitors and other roles. Volunteers must commit to two shifts per month and require a one year commitment; of special need are volunteers to provide care during weekday mornings (9AM-2PM), weekday evenings (6:30pm - 8:30pm) and Saturday mornings (10AM-noon). Complete the Volunteer Profile above, and we'll be in touch!

Activity Visits
Do you or your group want to bring supplies and people and host an activity for the residents? We'd love to have you! Up to ten people can come and offer crafts, Bingo, movie nights, etc. The ideas are limitless! Complete the Volunteer Profile above, and we'll be in touch!

Cleaning Crew
This team is responsible for basic custodial tasks in common areas, program rooms, and parking lot/grounds. Volunteers are needed Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm.
 


Court Advocacy Program Mecklenburg/Uptown Charlotte Area

Advocates accompany survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault to civil and criminal court in order to provide moral support and information. Requires daytime availability.

Qualifications: Ability to relate to and advocate for a variety of clients; ability to grasp the complexities of the civil and criminal courtroom situation; ability to maintain an appropriately supportive and informative role throughout court proceedings; ability to provide own transportation; ability to actively listen and support while allowing decisions to be made by client.  Requirements include accurate completion of application and background check.  The courtroom environment is extremely intense and can be disturbing. To prevent re-victimization of Domestic Violence survivors and assist with appropriate boundary setting, survivors must have been out of the relationship for a minimum of 3 years.

Length of Commitment: 2 sessions per month
Training: Two formal sessions (15 hours)
Hours of Work: Monday-Friday, 8:30am-12:00pm or 1:00pm-4:30pm.

 


Sexual Trauma Resource Center, Mecklenburg County and Lake Norman

Rape Crisis Companion
Rape Crisis Companions form the principal component of our Rape Crisis Response service by

  • staffing our Rape Crisis Hotline, available to the community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
  • providing emergency hospital accompaniment to survivors at Metro Charlotte hospitals,
  • providing crisis intervention, advocacy and information/referrals to our clients, and
  • helping members of staff with community engagement and education efforts.

 
The upcoming New Rape Crisis Companion Training will begin on Sunday 5th February 2017 at 9:00AM. You must attend all days in order to be fully qualified to providing hotline and hospital accompaniment services. As of now, the current Training schedule is as follows:
 

  • Sunday 5th February 9:00AM- 5:00PM
  • Thursday 9th February 6:00PM- 8:00PM
  • Saturday 11th February 10:00AM- 3:00PM
  • Thursday 16th February 6:00PM- 8:00PM
  • Saturday 18th February 10:00AM- 3:00PM
  • Sunday 19th February 10:00AM- 3:00PM
  • Thursday 23rd February 6:00PM- 8:00PM
  • Saturday 4th March 10:00AM- 3:00PM
  • Sunday 5th March 10:00AM- 2:00PM

 
If you are interested, click here to email the STRC Volunteer Coordinator about becoming a Companion.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I have to attend all dates of the Training? What I have to miss dates due to professional or personal engagements?
·         Yes, you must attend all days of the Training. This is due to both state and Agency volunteer training requirements. Of course, we understand that a volunteer's time is important. Therefore, make-up dates can be arranged upon request.
 
Do I have to possess any special skills beforehand?
·         Absolutely not! We accept companions from any sort of professional or personal background. Our companions come from a plethora of backgrounds including social work, human services, psychology, healthcare/medicine, banking/finance and retail. We also have a lot of companions that are also students.
·         Nevertheless, if you have a special skill, especially foreign language, we would love to have you aboard! We particularly need companions that speak multiple languages, especially Spanish and French.
 
Do you all accept male companions?
·         YES! Sexual violence affects everyone, both males and females. One-in-six males will be a victim of sexual assault before becoming 18 years of age. Likewise, diversity is essential to our mission. We accept companions of any and all kinds! In particular, we are in high need of male companions.
 
I am definitely interested? What will happen before the First Day of Training?
·         You will be invited, by the STRC Volunteer Coordinator, for an interview to ensure that this is the right volunteer opportunity for you. Afterwards, you will be invited to complete a full Volunteer Application consisting of a complete criminal background check, references and other required documents. Once those items are received, you will be then confirmed a seat at the next available Training.
 
What does the 35-hour New Rape Crisis Companion Training Course cover?
·         This is a comprehensive, multi-day and intensive course that is both didactic and practical in nature that discusses sexual violence, domestic violence and human trafficking in their entireties. Likewise, the course covers topics including, but not limited to the following: the role of law enforcement and the legal system, forensic medical examinations, cultural competency and diversity affairs, psychological experiences of survivors and documentation/HIPPA compliance. Most importantly, the course covers how to respond to hotline and hospital encounters, active listening and topics related to being psychosocially conscious companions.
 
How do companions complete their volunteer hours?
·         Companions register for 12-hour Call Shifts via an electronic calendar. Companions may select from the Day Shift, which runs from 6:00AM- 6:00PM or the Night Shift, running from 6:00PM to 6:00AM the following day. Companions are not assigned shifts; therefore, they may choose whichever shifts they would like, as long as they meet minimum requirements.
 
What is the minimum amount of shifts I can take per month?
·         Companions must register for a minimum of four shifts per month. Companions are welcome to enroll in more than four shifts each month nevertheless. In addition, companions must give a minimum commitment of one year.
 
During a shift, will I be responding to either hospital and hotline calls or only hotline calls?
·         During your shift, you must respond to both hotline calls and hospital accompaniment calls.
 
Can I choose to respond to only hotline calls? What if I am out of town and would still like to respond to hotline calls?
·         Not normally; during your shift, companions must respond to both hotline and hospital calls.
·         If a companion enrolls in more than four shifts per month, those additional shifts may be designated as hotline only. Accordingly, the companion would have to contact the STRC Volunteer Coordinator to make this arrangement specifically.
·         Likewise, if companions are going to be out of town and would like to still handle hotline calls, then this arrangement can be made by contacting the STRC Volunteer Coordinator.
 
Do I have to report to a particular location when I am on duty?
·         Not at all! We do not require for you to come into the Main Office or any other Safe Alliance business location to staff calls. When a call comes into the Hotline, a Safe Alliance member of staff will dispatch the call to the companion-on-duty. Most companions stay either at home or at a location where they are comfortable as they wait for engagement. Likewise, particularly during the evening shift, most of our offices are closed.
·         Of course, companions must handle calls in locations that preserve confidentiality and safety of clients served.
 
This seems like a big time commitment. Are companions able to meet the time requirements?
·         It may appear that 12 hours is quite a daunting commitment, but most companions find this to be an easy and somewhat flexible volunteer experience. Especially for students, many utilize the popular Night Shift option as they can study whilst also completing volunteer time. In addition, we always have weekend shifts available.
·         Likewise, companions are not assigned shifts. Therefore, they are free to choose which shifts they would like via the electronic calendar.
 
Will I be given special credentials to verify I am a Safe Alliance companion when responding to hospital calls?
·         Yes, you will be provided with those credentials upon successful completion of the Training and application processing.
 
Will I be engaged with clients during the entire 12-hour duration of my shift?
·         Overall, no. Some shifts will have no activity whilst some will have a few calls. Likewise, we encounter times where there are significant elevations in call volume, particularly during holidays and major events in the surrounding community.
 
What if I get multiple calls during my shift and I am already either responding to a hospital call or I am on the phone?
·         During a shift, there will usually be two companions on duty. In addition, there is always a member of staff that serves as the Staff Back-up.
 
How long do calls typically last?
·         On average, a hotline call lasts usually between 30-45 minutes whilst a hospital encounter will last for a few hours. Nevertheless, these are only averages; depending on the individual situation, an encounter will proceed according to the client's needs.
 
Is there specific documentation that has to be completed during my shift?
·         Yes. All specific documentation requirements will be discussed in full detail during the New Rape Crisis Companion Training.
 
Which hospitals participate in Rape Crisis Response services?
·         We respond to all Mecklenburg County hospitals and emergency departments. This includes all locations either owned or operated by Novant Health and Carolinas HealthCare System.
 
What are the dress code requirements?
·         For all hospital encounters, companions are expected to be in business casual or professional dress. In particular, companions must wear closed-toe shoes for health and safety guidelines. During trainings or continuing education events, companions may wear casual attire.
·         During special events, companions may wear either casual attire or attire specific to the nature of the event.
 
Are there other program requirements?
·         Yes! All companions must attend the Companion Meeting that occurs each month. This is a chance for companions to learn of all relevant Agency updates, submit required documentation and receive annually-required continuing education. In addition, this provides a chance for companions to meet other companions and Agency members of staff, particularly within the Sexual Trauma Resource Centre.
 
If I volunteer as a Rape Crisis Companion, can I engage in other Safe Alliance volunteer opportunities or programs either simultaneously or periodically?
·         Yes you definitely can! You may volunteer with as many Safe Alliance opportunities as you would like so long as you meet each program's requirements. There are many volunteers that serve as companions, Court Advocates, Shelter volunteers and special event volunteers.


General STRC Volunteer
Our General STRC Volunteers conduct the bulk of indirect service opportunities by:
·         assisting with clerical duties at either the Uptown Charlotte or Lake Norman office
·         helping to greet clients, support advocates and clinicians at both offices
·         providing critical assistance to the STRC Volunteer Coordinator
·         staffing special events and community education engagements (i.e. talks, tabling events)
·         providing artistic help for our new Expressive Arts Support Group
·         helping with other periodic and long-term programs and initiatives
 
All prospective general STRC volunteers must complete some basic training in HIPPA/client confidentiality, child endangerment recognition and basic Agency policies. Most of these training modules can be completed electronically. If you are interested, click here to email the STRC Volunteer Coordinator about becoming a General STRC Volunteer!
 
Qualifications: Ability to listen and communicate with empathy and to maintain non-judgmental attitude. Availability of a telephone and transportation to area hospitals.


Legal Representation Program

We are always seeking assistance from attorneys interested in providing pro-bono representation for domestic violence victims applying for 50B protective orders.  We require 4 billable hours per month (2 prep and 2 in court).

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Speakers Bureau Mecklenburg County
Has domestic violence or sexual assault touched your life? Do you want to raise awareness of these issues and help others in the process? Consider our Speakers' Bureau. In collaboration with the Women's Commission of Mecklenburg County, we recruit, train and deploy speakers who share their life experiences with groups in our community. Click here for additional information. 

Length of commitment and hours of work vary according to your schedule.

 


Mobile Volunteerism

You can help us by letting others know of our services. Please "like" us on Facebook and share our news with your friends, family and co-workers. Please follow us on Twitter and share!

Thank you for providing hope and solutions to people in crisis through your volunteer work with Safe Alliance. Please contact Tenille Banner at Tenille.Banner@SafeAlliance.org should you have any further questions.

*Note: At this time, we are not accepting intern applications, but we encourage you to find a volunteer opportunity above that would best fit your skill set!

Volunteer Profile Application

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Safe Alliance! Please provide the following information so we can make the right match for you.

First Name *
Last Name *
Email Address *
Phone Number
Employer
Date of Birth *
Place of Worship
Would you like to receive the monthly electronic newsletter from Safe Alliance? *
How did you hear about Safe Alliance?
What days and times are you available to volunteer? *
What is your motivation for volunteering with Safe Alliance? *
Please check all types of volunteer activities you are interested in: *
Please check any skills or training you would be willing to share as a volunteer :

In an emergency please dial 911

To reach a domestic violence or rape crisis hotline 24/7 call the appropriate number below

Mecklenburg and Lake Norman
Domestic Violence Crisis Line:
704 332 2513
Mecklenburg and Lake Norman
Rape Crisis Line:
704 375 9900
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