1. Why should I volunteer with the Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre (H&R MFRC)?
As a registered, charitable organization, the H&R MFRC relies on volunteers to assist in delivering frontline programs and services to military families. Without the support of volunteers, we would not be able to offer the level of programming to the military community.
2. What is your philosophy of volunteer involvement?
With close to 150 registered volunteers at the H&R MFRC, there are many ways in which people can give back to military families, as well as develop their own skills and strengths. Volunteers are provided with meaningful and flexible volunteer opportunities. Recognition, feedback and staff support are key areas that are focused on within the volunteer’s experience.
3. How do I become a registered volunteer with the H&R MFRC?
If you would like to become a registered volunteer, visit our website and complete the volunteer application forms. Submit the forms to our Volunteer Services Coordinator either electronically or by dropping them off to your nearest MFRC location. Once the forms are received, you will be contacted within two to three weeks to schedule a volunteer intake meeting. If you have any questions about volunteering or wish to speak to the Volunteer Services Coordinator before you begin the volunteer process, please feel free to contact us by e-mail or phone.
4. How long will the volunteer application process take? When can I start volunteering?
Once your application forms are complete and submitted, our Volunteer Services Coordinator will contact you to schedule a volunteer intake meeting. To accommodate the volunteer’s schedule, this meeting can take place during the day or early evening. During the meeting, the volunteer will have the opportunity to tour the facility and meet the staff. They will also learn about the various programs and services the H&R MFRC offers. Most importantly, the volunteer intake meeting provides a chance for the volunteer to discuss what they expect to gain from their experience with the MFRC. Once your meeting has occurred, depending upon the type of volunteer positions available, most volunteers can expect to begin volunteering within a few weeks.
5. How old do I have to be to volunteer?
The H&R MFRC supports children, youth and family volunteering. If you are younger than 18 years of age, you will need your parents to attend the volunteer intake meeting with you and sign off on your volunteer application forms. Depending upon the age of the applicant, a parent may need to be present to support them in their volunteer role. This will be discussed further during the meeting.
6. Is there a time commitment?
The H&R MFRC is very flexible to meet the needs of volunteers and we have many opportunities available. Volunteers often have the flexibility to pick the days and times they would like to volunteer, depending upon the task. We offer short-term and long-term volunteer opportunities. Each month, we provide regular email correspondence to our volunteers outlining monthly volunteer opportunities. On average, volunteers should expect to commit to a minimum of five or six events annually.
7. I am a Canadian Forces (CF) member and I’m often away on deployments or courses. Can I still volunteer?
Absolutely. We are very flexible to accommodate volunteers’ schedules and have many CF personnel who volunteer at the MFRC. We also recognize there are deployments and work around your schedule.
8. Do I have to get a Criminal Records Check?
Yes, as part of our volunteer screening process all volunteers are required to complete a Criminal Records Check. The cost is $30 for volunteers, and upon successful completion of your Criminal Records Check, the H&R MFRC will reimburse volunteers for this fee.
9. Do I need past volunteer experience?
Volunteers do not need to have previous volunteer experience, but previous experience is helpful in placing volunteers.
10. I am not fluent in English/French. Can I still volunteer?
With a strong francophone community, there is always the need for francophone and bilingual volunteers. Please contact our Volunteer Services Coordinator for more information. For francophone members, please feel free to contact our Francophone Coordinator to discuss current volunteer opportunities. Volunteers can request to have our Francophone Coordinator present during the volunteer intake meeting to assist with translations.
11. What skills or experiences do I need to volunteer?
Through the volunteer intake meeting, the Volunteer Services Coordinator will discuss areas that may be of interest to you as a new volunteer. We have many volunteers looking to expand on their skill sets, perhaps as a way to add experience to their resume. Also, you may have some skills that you wish to share while volunteering. Take a look at our volunteer opportunities to determine areas where you might be interested in volunteering your skills or developing new ones.
12. Do you provide any training for volunteers?
Volunteers receive orientation and ongoing hands-on training in the role(s) they will be involved with while volunteering. Each volunteer will receive a Volunteer Orientation Handbook for their reference. We also offer professional development opportunities for volunteers, such as Facilitation Training and First Aid Training to name a few. Volunteers will receive updates via email, listing upcoming workshop/training opportunities.
13. What opportunities are available for volunteers?
We have many program areas that are looking for volunteer support. We have volunteers who assist at our reception desk, facilitating programs, assisting with special events and much more. For a list of volunteer opportunities available at the MFRC, please visit our Opportunities section.
14. How do I get matched to a certain volunteer position?
During your volunteer intake meeting, our Volunteer Services Coordinator will discuss your interests and your availability to volunteer. This will be very important in your volunteer placement. After volunteers have had a facility tour and program areas are discussed at greater length, this is usually where the volunteer will find an area(s) of interest where they wish to volunteer. The MFRC also offers volunteer opportunities in facilitation or leadership roles. These volunteer opportunities have both a start and end date, similar to applying for a job. Volunteers applying for these types of positions can expect to complete a cover letter outlining their skill-sets, as well as attend a 30 minute interview for screening purposes.