Frequently Asked Questions
**COVID-19 UPDATE as of June 3, 2020: Currently we have existing MOM volunteers operating our food distribution to clients. However, once we resume our regular operations at a future date, other volunteer positions will again be available for new volunteers. Click here for more information.
Volunteers are the heart of MOM and dedicated over 35,000 hours of service in 2019 to help their neighbors. Volunteers do vital work and make MOM programs so effective. Our Distribution Center (Food Pantry and Clothing Center), is open 6 days a week, year-round, and helps many in our community who are struggling to meet basic needs. Our Seniors Program provides transportation to elderly clients and performs light indoor/outdoor household chores to help them remain independent in their homes.
By volunteering for MOM, you are:
- Helping prevent homelessness and end hunger in your community
- Using your talents and skills to improve the lives of others
- Feeling the personal rewards that come with helping others
- Trying new activities and/or learning new skills
- Meeting new people and making new friends as you use your time to help others
Who do I contact if I still have questions after reading the FAQ ?
Still have questions? Feel free to contact our Volunteer Program Manager.
FAQs about MOM's Volunteer Program
What volunteer opportunities do you have for individuals?
Our Current List of Volunteer Opportunities provides detailed information about each opportunity. Browse through the listing to determine the best fit for your interests and talents, and your availability to commit to an on-going shift. Check this list periodically since our opportunities can change quickly.
Examples include Clothing Center sorter, Food Pantry Client Host, Food Pantry Inventory Support, and Driver for Senior Citizen clients. Other positions are more behind the scenes, such as Data Entry, Food Rescue Driver, Writer, and serving on a Committee.
Who currently volunteers at MOM?
Our current volunteers have a variety of backgrounds, races, experiences, skills, and talents.
How much time do I have to commit?
You can volunteer weekly, every other week, monthly, or on-call. A minimum commitment of six months is requested. Most shifts are 2-3 hours. Most of our on-going volunteer opportunities occur during the day weekdays between 9 am and 4:30 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 12 noon.
In addition, MOM holds Special Events at several times during the year, usually in the evenings, and these are opportunities to volunteer on a one-time only basis for a few hours.
How do I apply to volunteer at MOM?
After reviewing the volunteer positions on our website, if you see an opportunity that suits your interests and talents, and your availability, the first step is to complete the online Volunteer Application form. We will review your volunteer application, your interests, availability and skills, and compare it to the current openings. You will hear from us after we complete our review; during some times of the year, this review can take up to a couple of weeks.
The volunteer application steps include successfully completing the following:
- Volunteer Application Form
- Background Check
- Interview/orientation with the Volunteer Program Manager
- Adherence to the Code of Conduct and Confidentiality Agreement
- Training with an experienced MOM volunteer
- Placement into an open, recurring shift in our volunteer scheduling software
- Then, starting to volunteer on a regular basis
Does MOM accept volunteers of all ages?
Ending hunger and preventing homelessness requires all possible helping hands, but some volunteer opportunities are not suited to children and have minimum age requirements for safety and other reasons. Most of our volunteers are adults. Depending on the tasks, sometimes ages 16 and up are able to volunteer, and in some programs, ages 12 and up can volunteer alongside a parent (individual volunteer applications are still required for both). In addition, if you are younger than 18, a signature from a parent is required.
If your younger child wants to help, here are some ways to get involved in hunger relief:
- Organize a food or clothing drive and bring the items in to MOM. Look at the Top Ten Needs list for ideas
- Plant a garden or a row in your garden for MOM, then donate the produce to MOM’s food pantry
- Host a lemonade stand for MOM, and donate the proceeds
- Be creative and think of a fundraiser idea for MOM, and donate the proceeds
- Participate in our youth volunteer program called MOM Squad.
What is the MOM Squad youth program?
MOM Squad weekend events are designed to: teach youth about the importance of service, meaningfully participate in a service activity, receive information about opportunities in which they can participate outside of the event, and learn about MOM. The program, maximum of 20 participants, is geared towards Elementary and Middle School-aged students. Children ages 9 and up may attend without an adult. Most events are held on weekends periodically, sometimes at the MOM facility, throughout the year.
Can I volunteer with my family?
Yes, we have some volunteer opportunities for families. Check the group or special event opportunities for what might be available.
In our regular programs, we have many adult couples who volunteer together or volunteer in similar programs. Each individual must complete the volunteer application process separately and we will do our best to schedule your volunteer shifts at convenient times.
What are opportunities outside of MOM where our family can help?
Here are some ways to get involved, great for all ages:
- Organize a food or clothing drive and bring the items in to MOM. Look at the Top Ten Needs list for ideas.
- Plant a garden or a row in your garden for MOM, then donate the produce to MOM’s food pantry.
- Host a lemonade stand for MOM, and donate the proceeds. Other creative ideas include backyard movie nights, paper airplane flying contests, and more.
- Participate in our youth volunteer program called MOM Squad.
Is a background check required for volunteers?
For the safety of our volunteers, clients, and employees, we require annual background checks. We also ask that you adhere to our Code of Ethics and Confidentiality.
Will I be trained?
Each volunteer program has a customized training program. Some positions require more training than others. During your interview/orientation with the Volunteer Program Manager, you will learn more about specific training requirements.
Does MOM allow “drop by” volunteering?
No. All individual volunteers need to be pre-registered and approved prior to beginning to volunteer on a regular basis. In addition, training with an experienced volunteer is pre-arranged. See above "How do I apply to volunteer at MOM?"
Individual volunteer applications, however, are not required for Special Events, but there is a quick registration process.
What is Special Events volunteering or one-time-only volunteering?
Don't have the time to volunteer for MOM on a regular basis, but still want to help occasionally at a one-time event?
Consider helping at one or more of our Special Events, held periodically throughout the year (e.g. Canstruction Madison (April); FCI Art Show and Auction (October); Creating for a Cause - MOM Holiday Art Fair (December)).
Volunteering at Special Events is a great way for High School students to help.
In addition, MOM periodically has one-time-only projects such as our School Supplies program or other occasional opportunities, held mostly during daytime hours.
To learn more, join our Volunteer eList to hear about such opportunities.
Can I volunteer with a group or my co-workers?
We have several specific ongoing opportunities for small groups, whether it is in our regular programs or at one of our Special Events. In addition, opportunities for business groups are available via United Ways Days of Caring. On occasion we also may be able to facilitate a specific group opportunity on a one-time basis, and ask you to complete the Group Volunteer Inquiry Form.
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