From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
UMNS# 175-Volunteer service begins with application process
Wed, 23 Mar 2005 16:51:43 -0600
Volunteer service begins with application process
Mar. 23, 2005
NOTE: Photographs and related reports, UMNS stories #174 and 176, are
available at http://umns.umc.org.
By Linda Bloom
NEW YORK (UMNS) - Individual mission volunteers often can choose where
they want to serve - as long as they have an invitation.
"We do not place anybody where it is not requested," said Greg
Forrester, who is national coordinator of the individual volunteers
program for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
Those requests come from heads of churches or various programs and are
later confirmed by the local bishop or church president when a specific
individual is chosen.
The process for potential volunteers begins with an application form,
three references and a medical form. The applicant is interviewed by the
conference volunteer-in-mission coordinator and/or the jurisdictional
An interview also is conducted with Forrester or Jeanie Blankenbaker,
head of mission volunteers for the Board of Global Ministries, at a
volunteer training event. "Until I actually see them face-to-face, I'm
not going to place them anywhere," Forrester said.
Individual volunteers can list three preferred geographic areas for
placement by looking at a potential site list. Once they receive an
assignment, which is usually for a minimum of two months, volunteers
must be prepared to pay for all expenses, including transportation,
lodging and meals. In some cases, the host will provide lodging or a
small stipend, but that is not guaranteed.
A report is submitted at the end of the mission period, along with an
evaluation from the volunteer's supervisor at the site. Those reports
are used as a basis to consider future placements. Many individual
volunteers go on to another placement, Forrester said.
More information is available online at www.missionvolunteers.org or by
calling Forrester at (607) 756-7799.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or
United Methodist News Service
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