Volunteering Options: Agency Volunteer vs. Advocate
Agency Volunteers work with office staff to fulfill administrative duties. Projects available to volunteers include, but are not limited to: folding brochures, filing, making Care Packages, designing SARC flyers and posters, and assisting staff during presentations and health fairs. By performing these functions, Agency Volunteers provide a vital service; allowing center staff the ability to concentrate on projects which raise awareness about sexual assault in our communities.
Agency Volunteers must submit an application, come into the office for an interview, and pass a background check. No formal training is required for this position. All we ask is that Agency Volunteers commit to volunteering for a few hours per month.
Advocates provide direct client services. Our Advocates answer our 24 hour hotline; provide support to survivors at hospitals, police departments, and court proceedings; provide face-to-face counseling; represent SARC at presentations and health fairs; and help with other SARC projects. Our Advocates are our lifeline and the voice of support that survivors hear in the middle of the night; without them, the center would cease to function.
Advocates must be at least 18 years of age, submit an application, come into the office for an interview, and pass a background check. Potential Advocates will then be admitted into a training class which is approximately 40 hours long for certification. Advocates are requested make a 6 month commitment to the center and sign up for 2-3 hotline or escort shifts per month. Weekday shifts are from 5PM-8AM. Weekend shifts are from 8AM-5PM and 5PM-8AM. Advocates are able to answer the phone from their home as all calls are forwarded from the center to either a landline or mobile phone.
SARC has conducted 74 Advocate Training Classes since 1983. In May 2009, SARC conducted its first ever Advocate Training Class for residents of Leon and Madison Counties.
The application is attached below. Volunteer or Advocate Applicants may complete the application, and submit it by fax, mail, or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Brazos County Advocate Program
Advocates in the Brazos County Program answer the 24 hour hotline and accompany survivors to hospitals, law enforcement agencies, and court proceedings in Bryan and College Station. Advocates can also help staff with special programs such as the Softball Tournament, Safety Awareness and Self Defense Workshops, the Watch Your Drink, Watch Your Friend Campaign, Candlelight Vigil, and other SARC events.
Advocate Training Classes are held every February, July and October at the Center. If you have any questions about becoming an Advocate for SARC, please contact EJ Smith, Volunteer Coordinator, at email@example.com or 979-731-1000.
Leon/Madison County Advocate Program
Advocates in the Leon/Madison County Program answer the 24 hour hotline and accompany survivors to the hospital, law enforcement agencies, and court proceedings in Leon and Madison Counties. Because advocates who provide escorts to the hospital are required to arrive within 45 minutes, only Advocates who live within 30 miles of the hospital can sign up for escort duty. Advocates can also help staff with special programs such as our Safety Awareness and Self Defense Workshops held annually in each county, educational presentations, and other SARC events. If you have any questions about becoming an Advocate for SARC, EJ Smith, Volunteer Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org or 979-731-1000.
In the Words of SARC Volunteers
Having advocates available for hospital accompaniment, a 24-hour hotline, and an office staff that truly cares about what they do, allow survivors to feel safe and in control at a time when it seems both of those things have been taken away.
-Courtney M., Advocate since 2006
I cannot prevent the crime but my empathy, understanding, and the knowledge I share during those moments I believe helps victims, gives them hope, and arms them with the information and tools to take back control after being assaulted.
-Charlotte S., Advocate since 2005
There are numerous benefits to being a volunteer at the Rape Crisis Center, Brazos Valley, but to me the biggest benefits are: (1) gaining valuable knowledge through the initial and on-going training allowing you the skills to be able to help someone in a time of need; and (2) knowing that you may have improved lives in a positive way by being there to support victims of sexual assault at a time when reaching out is very difficult for them to do.
-Bridgette G., Volunteer since 1997
One of the most important aspects of volunteering for me is being there to answer the cries in the night.
-Sandi O., Volunteer since 1986