Volunteer FAQs

Do I have to be Catholic to volunteer?
No! Like the clients and communities we serve, our volunteers come from all different faiths, countries, ages and backgrounds. We welcome all volunteers and appreciate their continued support of our work.

What sort of volunteer opportunities are available?
Our opportunities are frequently updated as our programs’ needs change. We have one-time opportunities for individuals or groups to help us for a few hours at various volunteer events, or for those looking to make a long term weekly commitment, our ongoing opportunities allow volunteers to support the work of our programs in roles that include administrative support, serving food in shelters, mentoring, pro bono professional services, and more. For the most up-to-date list of available opportunities, check out our current ongoing Volunteer Opportunities

What if none of the opportunities listed match my interests or availability?
If you are unable to find any opportunities that match your interests or availability, please let us know on your volunteer application. 

What do I have to do to volunteer at Catholic Charities?
Unless you are participating in select, one-time individual or group activities, all individuals applying to becoming ongoing volunteers must complete the following:

1. Check out the list of volunteers opportunities we are currently recruiting for.

2. Complete your volunteer application and let us know which position(s) you are interested in.

3. Register to attend an upcoming Volunteer Orientation. At orientation, you will learn more about Catholic Charities, the different volunteer opportunities and how you can assist our programs.

4. Attend orientation and sign-up for a volunteer position.

5. Visit the program or speak with the Program Manager to determine if the position is a good fit for you.

6. If you and the Manager decide we have a match, you complete the screening process before beginning your service. The elements are a signed waiver of liability, signed confidentiality agreement, and character and reference check. Other screening may be required if the position tasks involve sustained exposure to and interaction with children, vulnerable adults, or client’s confidential information. Examples include: criminal background check, drug screening, TB test, Protecting God’s Children training.

I have a group wanting to volunteer. What sort of opportunities do you have available?
Depending on our program needs, our group opportunities are constantly changing. Examples include sprucing up program sites (i.e. painting, planting, cleaning), serving food in shelters, bagging breakfasts, planning and organizing special events for our clients, and providing professional development workshops/trainings. Please check our Volunteer Calendar for scheduled volunteer events. Unless otherwise noted, each opportunity can accommodate most groups.

Can my child volunteer with me?
Depending on the opportunity, adolescent children are welcome to volunteer with their parent or guardian. Individuals under the age of 18 are required to have waivers signed by their parent or guardian before participating in any volunteer activity. Typically, children 15 and younger must be accompanied by a parent. Please note that some of our shelters do not allow individuals under the age of 18 to volunteer with them. Please email Volunteer@cc-dc.org or call (202) 772-4321 if you have specific questions about this.

I work full-time. Can I still volunteer?
While some of our opportunities take place during normal business hours, many volunteer events or ongoing opportunities are available during evenings and weekends. 

I have court mandated community service hours to fulfill. Can I volunteer at Catholic Charities?
Court mandated volunteers will be considered on a case by case basis. Please call our SHARE Food Network at (301) 864-3115 to determine if you are eligible.

I have school mandated community service hours to fulfill (SSL). Can I volunteer at Catholic Charities?
Yes, your volunteer hours at Catholic Charities can count toward school mandated community service hours. Once you have registered for an opportunity, please remember to bring any document(s) you need signed to confirm hours served to your volunteer site.

Can I volunteer if I have a criminal record?
Having a criminal record does not preclude one from volunteering. All criminal findings with be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

I don’t have time to volunteer, but I have in-kind items (clothes, furniture, etc.) that I’d like to donate. How can I do that?
Great! Due to limited storage space at many of our program sites, we only accept those items that can be put to immediate use. To help us ensure your item can be received, please email Communications@cc-dc.org with a specific list of items you have available to donate, noting as many specifics as possible (i.e. clothing size). Thank you!

Do you have brief descriptions or announcements I can use to recruit volunteers?
Yes! Please cut and paste these announcements into your bulletins, flyers, webpages, or other media to get the word out: Volunteers Welcome at Catholic Charities!  This one has announcements about our most urgent ongoing volunteer needs and this one has announcements about events and activities related to Christmas.  Thanks for spreading the word!