Volunteer FAQ’s

Do you want to get involved but are not sure where to start?

 

You aren’t alone!

 

Below are Frequently Asked Questions and other important volunteer stuff to help point you in the right direction.

 

We are excited and thankful to have you serve with us!

How do I begin volunteering at Wheeler?

Find Opportunities: Wheeler’s volunteer website is called ‘IMPACT’ and it is an opportunity-driven registration system. This means you must first find an opportunity in which you wish to volunteer before you can register to create your personal account. To do so, click on one of the Volunteer Homepage icons to search for ways to get involved. You can also use the Advanced Search option to narrow down results by location, date, etc. Upon using one of these features, a list of volunteer opportunities will appear and you can read about the position’s details, qualifications, schedule, and more.

Registering: After you’ve identified an area of interest, click ‘Sign Up’ and you will be asked to log in or ‘Apply to Become a Volunteer’. To apply, follow the prompts to fill out your Volunteer Profile and submit your application. Upon submitting your application, you will see a ‘Thank You’ page and receive an email, which will tell you if you have been scheduled to serve or requested more information about that specific opportunity. If you have been scheduled to volunteer, you were automatically placed on the calendar and will receive a confirmation email with details about your shift. If you have requested more information, the system has notified a member of our Volunteer Ministry Team to connect with you regarding the next steps for that position (e.g. attending a Wheeler 101 volunteer orientation, tour, etc.).

Volunteer Dashboard: Once logged in, your Volunteer Dashboard will appear and below is a description of the navigation options:

Edit My Profile: To change your User ID and password, click on ‘Edit My Profile’ on the lower right hand side.  When you do this, please know you will have to answer other fields so we have your full record on hand. Please be sure to update this information!
View My Schedule: Get a calendar view of when you are scheduled to volunteer. Many of you who serve regularly will probably have a schedule to view!
Search Opportunities: Browse through ways to get involved whether it be serving a meal, hosting a Recreation Night, serving at a special event like the Drumstick Dash, or becoming a High Impact volunteer.
My Requests: Requests are opportunities you have found interest in and have submitted a request for more information from the Volunteer Ministry Team.
My Placements: Placements are opportunities where you are approved to get involved with and may already be scheduled to do.
Report & View Hours: Your volunteer hours will automatically be tracked for you and you can also report when you serve off-site.

Can I just come in to volunteer or do I need to sign-up?

All volunteers must be scheduled ahead of time. This ensures there is availability on the volunteer schedule, we know to expect you, and you know more information that will be beneficial for your time with us. Please reference the above question ‘How do I begin volunteering at Wheeler?’. You will know you are on the schedule when you receive an email stating ‘You are scheduled to volunteer!’. Non-scheduled volunteers will be turned away.

What type of service is best for me?

If you are wondering about how to get involved or what service is best for you, you’re not alone! For those wishing to serve one or more times, use the ‘Serve a Meal’, ‘Find Other Opportunities’, and ‘Special Events’ icons on our Volunteer Homepage. We always suggest serving a meal for your first volunteer time! In addition to those options, if you want to serve on a long-term basis, select the ‘Become High Impact’ icon to learn more about our Christ-centered opportunities. Each volunteer opportunity you see will have details regarding qualifications, scheduling, who to contact with any questions, etc.

What if my schedule is inconsistent – can I still volunteer?

Yes, opportunities such as Meal Service can accommodate one-time volunteers or if your schedule changes frequently. We also have Special Events throughout the year where one-time or as-able volunteers are needed. You will be able to sign-up for these opportunities whenever you’d like using your Volunteer Dashboard.

What are High Impact volunteers?

High Impact volunteers are dedicated Christians who are growing in their walk with Jesus and are called to have long-term, consistent, hands-on interaction with the guests and residents of Wheeler Mission. Further qualifications will be listed on each High Impact position description.

What opportunities are there for groups?

There are many different service opportunities for groups and families. Examples of some of the opportunities are Meal Service, Housekeeping, Thrift Store, Work Projects, and Recreation Night. For more information, use the Advanced Search ‘Group-friendly’ option to narrow down your results.

Are there evening and weekend volunteer opportunities?

There are many different volunteer opportunities available during the evenings and on weekends for individuals, families, and groups. During the evenings, Meal Service, Recreation Night, and Praise & Worship opportunities may be available. On the weekends, there may be Housekeeping, Work Projects, and serving at our Thrift Store. For more information, use the Advanced Search ‘By Date’ option to narrow down your results.

How old do I have to be to serve? Are there opportunities for children and teens?

Age requirements are dependent upon the volunteer opportunity. All volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by their parent or an adult chaperone. We require at least one adult chaperone for every 5 children. Parents please use discernment when bringing a minor to volunteer. Ages will also be listed on each position description on our website, but below is general information in regards to the different opportunities and minimum age requirements:

Meal Service: 8 years of age
Housekeeping: 5 years of age
Thrift Store: 10 years of age
High-Impact: 18 years of age
Recreation Night at the Center for Women & Children:
Since Recreation Night is geared toward groups where extra hands are available to serve, children of all ages, including infants, are welcome. Plus, kids staying at the Center love seeing other children!
Work Projects: Age restrictions will vary depending on the service project (i.e. skill level, tasks needed to be completed, safety, etc.), but generally 13 years of age

Is there a volunteer orientation?

We do have a volunteer orientation called Wheeler 101. Only prospective High Impact volunteers are required to attend, but any one is welcome and is suggested for many roles! This session will not only familiarize you with Wheeler’s values and programs, but also discuss topics such as factors leading to homelessness, trauma, poverty, addiction, boundaries, and next steps to get involved.

What if something comes up and I can’t serve?

If something comes up and you are not able to make it to your scheduled opportunity, you can cancel your volunteer shift using your IMPACT profile. You would log into the system using your User ID and password, then click ‘View My Schedule’ on the Volunteer Dashboard. Find the shift you want to cancel and you can remove yourself from the calendar. You can also notify the Volunteer Ministry Team member that scheduled you or is listed in your confirmation email. We require a 24-hour notice for all cancellations in order for us to properly cover your shift.

Do you perform background checks on volunteers?

Yes, but only on High Impact and Professional volunteers. This is to ensure that we are providing a safe environment for our guests and residents. An occurrence in your criminal background does not necessarily discard you from being able to volunteer and exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

What do I wear to volunteer?

Whether serving at our men’s or women’s facilities, be aware of your surroundings, be modest and wear clothing and shoes appropriate that are for the volunteer opportunity and for the season.

Clothing: T-shirts, jeans/khakis and athletic shoes are appropriate for most volunteer activities and business casual is acceptable for most professional positions. During the summer, shorts that are reasonable in length (finger-length when arms are at sides) are okay.
Shoes: For your safety, do not wear “flip flops” or similar shoes that do not adequately protect your feet.
Kitchen volunteers: Volunteers must wear long pants or skirts below the knee to protect the legs, a shirt with sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and a cap or a hairnet that Wheeler will provide. Inappropriately dressed volunteers may not be able to participate in the opportunity due to Indiana Health Code regulations.
The following are not acceptable: Short shorts/skirts/dresses, tight-fitting clothing, revealing tops, and/or clothing with inappropriate language/images. If anyone is wearing inappropriate clothing, they will be asked to change into clothes set aside for such purposes. If a volunteer is not compliant with this request, they may be asked to leave.

Will I be volunteering alongside guests or other volunteers?

This is dependent upon the volunteer opportunity. Meal Service and the Thrift Store are two opportunities in which you may be volunteering alongside other volunteers and possibly guests/residents. If you are serving with guests or residents, know they have been selected and trained by staff to accomplish the tasks of the opportunity. So no need for any apprehension!

Will I be trained?

Yes, you will be given instructions by a Wheeler Mission staff member at the beginning of every volunteer opportunity. In some cases, you will be required to shadow a current volunteer or staff member before volunteering on your own.

Where do I park?

Parking is dependent upon the location of your volunteer opportunity. Prior to your volunteer opportunity, please read the confirmation email that was sent to you for important information such as date, time, address and parking information. Please refer to the information below in regards to the location of your volunteer opportunity and where you should park.

Center for Women and Children – 3208 E. Michigan Street, Indianapolis 46201

 

Shelter for Men – 520 E. Market Street, Indianapolis 46204

 

SFM Market Street Entrance and Weekday Parking

Men’s Residential Center and Administration Building – 245 N. Delaware Street and 205 E. New York Street, Indianapolis 46204

 

Admin MRC Parking Lot Map2

Thrift Store and Donation Center – 2730 S. Madison Avenue, Indianapolis 46225

 

TS Parking 8.1.16

Center for Men – 215 S. Westplex Avenue, Bloomington 47404

 

CFM Parking Map 7.29.16

Center for Women & Children – 400 S. Opportunity Lane, Bloomington 47404

 

CWCb Parking Map 7.29.16

Who do I contact if I have questions?

On our IMPACT website, each volunteer opportunity will have a ‘Contact’ listed along with their email address and phone number. If you have other questions or inquiries, please email us your question along with your name and phone number to: volunteer@wmm.org / (317) 635-3575.