What Is the Volunteer Program?
Body Positive is a peer-based agency. This means that many of our programs and services are run by people who are living with or directly affected by HIV/AIDS, people who understand the situation first-hand. Body Positive is proud to have dedicated volunteers who give generously of their time and energy to answer the telephone Helpline, facilitate support groups, help out with social events, and assist with the magazine. These are only a few of the ways in which BP volunteers can contribute.
Who Is It For?
The volunteer program is for anyone who is interested in donating his or her time and energy to a good cause. Since volunteer positions vary so much, the agency can accommodate almost anyone who would like to volunteer. Our volunteers have different schedules and different needs. Some are interested in day activities, others in evenings. If you are interested, we can work with you to figure out a role and a schedule that works best for you, while best meeting the needs of the agency. At present, we are particularly interested in recruiting new volunteers for our Helpline. The ideal volunteers would be comfortable speaking on the phone and be knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS. All volunteers also go through additional training.
What Can Volunteers Do?
People can volunteer in many capacities at Body Positive. Some people may come into the office once or twice a week for a four-hour Helpline shift. Some volunteers facilitate a weekly support group in the evenings. Others prefer to assist at our monthly socials, which take place on Friday evenings. Some volunteers enjoy the social interaction of representing the agency at public events, or coming into the office to help out at crunch time. Others like to write or take pictures for the magazine. There are a variety of opportunities.
Who Are the Volunteers?
Our volunteers are a diverse bunch. They come from all over the city, and from the surrounding areas as well. They are men and women of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. They are actors, professionals, parents, and friends. Some are people who are living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Whoever they are, volunteers are the heart of Body Positive. And they all have at least one thing in common: they care.
Why Should You Be a Volunteer?
People volunteer for different reasons. For some, it is their own connection to HIV/AIDS. For others, they are simply interested in giving of their time to a worthy cause. Some people enjoy meeting others, for others it is an opportunity to learn about a different world. Sometimes, it just makes people feel good. Whatever your reason, if you have something to give, Body Positive is happy to have you. We will make an effort to make the best possible match.
Volunteers receive valuable training and supervision in the areas in which they work. They also have opportunities to attend social events and parties, represent BP at various events, and meet great people!
How Do I Get Involved?
If you are interested in being a Body Positive volunteer, or in simply getting more information, you may call (212) 566-7333, and ask to speak with Tim Wearne, our Coordinator of Volunteer and Client Support Services. He can answer any questions you may have, and send you a volunteer application to fill out. Once that is complete, you will be invited in for an interview, and have an opportunity to see the office and hear more about the work that we do, and what you can do to help. We can work together to find a way to best match your skills and interests with the needs of the agency. We look forward to hearing from you!
Dana S. Levin, M.A., is Director of Volunteer and Client Support Services at Body Positive.