Volunteers are essential to the AIDS Task Force. Volunteers started the task force in 1985, and volunteers continue to help with the programs and services the task force offers.
There are two types of volunteer opportunities at the AIDS Task Force — direct service and indirect service. Direct service connects a volunteer with a client for such activities as transportation, being a “buddy,” visitation, housecleaning, or respite care. Indirect service involves helping the task force but not directly interacting with clients. Volunteers help with assembling the newsletter, answering phones, making presentations, and serving on committees like the Teen AIDS Council, Minority AIDS Committee, or AIDS Walk Steering Committee. All volunteers must attend AIDS basic training before beginning their volunteer assignments. The following is a listing of some of the volunteer opportunities at the AIDS Task Force.
To register online click the following link.
AIDS Task Force Volunteer Application
Volunteers can help clients by driving them to doctor’s appointments or getting them to the food bank. Any volunteer transporting clients must have a valid driver’s license and automobile insurance. Proof of insurance must be kept on file in the volunteer’s record and must be updated every six months. Volunteers are reimbursed for mileage. Volunteers who transport clients must attend the Direct Service Training.
The Buddy Program allows volunteers to build a relationship with someone living with HIV disease. As a buddy, a volunteer becomes a part of the support system everyone living with this disease needs. Buddy Volunteers initially agree to a one-year commitment of regular contact with the client. A buddy also meets regularly with the client’s case manager. To become a buddy, a volunteer completes the buddy training in addition to the direct service training. Case managers are always available to consult on any problems that develop in the relationship. If a client dies, a buddy will not be reassigned to another client for a minimum of six months.
Occasionally, a client is too ill to be left alone while family members take care of errands outside the home. Volunteers help out by staying with the client during these short periods. Volunteers who participate in the Respite Care program go through direct service training at the task force.
When clients are hospitalized or are at home but too ill to get all their housekeeping chores done, volunteers can help with housecleaning, pet care, watering plants, or getting the mail. Volunteers who want to help with these activities also attend direct service training.
While the task force employs a part time receptionist, there are times when he needs help answering phones, faxing, photocopying, and greeting clients and visitors. Volunteers help get these jobs done. A volunteer can come at a regular time or can be on call. Volunteers assisting the receptionist attend an administrative training.
The AIDS Task Force mails over 2,000 copies of its newsletter every two months. Volunteers help fold, staple, and label the newsletter and get the mailing ready for the Post Office. With about eight volunteers, the newsletter preparation takes just two or three hours on a Wednesday morning.
When the task force undertakes special events like AIDS Walk, volunteers serve as chairs and members of the planning committees. Volunteers also contribute their time and energy at the special events themselves. The AIDS Task Force also has advisory committees that meet regularly throughout the year. Among these are the Teen AIDS Council and the Minority AIDS Committee. These groups help focus the programs of the task force and sponsor their own educational and fund raising events.
Occasionally the task force office needs special attention that volunteers can provide. Sometimes this involves working in the resource library. Sometimes it is as simple as stamping the task force phone number on brochures distributed at educational presentations. Volunteers help get these jobs done on time.