VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES 

ROCKFORD SEXUAL ASSAULT COUNSELING
Website Address:  www.rsaconline.org

Project Title:  ADVOCATE
Type of Project:  Ongoing
Minimum Age Requirement:  18 years
Time Commitment:  1-2 days per month
Training/Orientation Requirement:  40 hour training provided by agency

Description
Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling is currently recruiting volunteers to provide advocacy for victims of sexual assault or abuse, and their families.  You will play an important role in helping victims feel they are not alone.  When you are on-call, you will carry a pager and respond to local emergency rooms when an assault has occurred and/or you will provide phone advocacy for someone in need.  
For further information contact:  Beth Balentyne at (815) 636-9811.

THE LITERACY COUNCIL
Website Address:  www.theliteracycouncil.org

Project Title:  ADULT TUTOR
Type of Project:  Ongoing
Minimum Age Requirement:  18 years
Time Commitment:  2 hours per week
Preferred Duration:  One year

Training/Orientation Requirement:  There is a 16-hour tutor workshop after which time the volunteer is paired with an adult.  During the workshop, the volunteer learns different ways to work with an adult to help them improve their reading skills.  To register, or for more information, please visit our website or call The Literacy Council at (815) 963-7323.

Description
Volunteer tutors are needed for one-on-one tutoring to improve reading skills or English language skills in adults.  You must be 18 years or older and have a high school diploma or GED.  Tutors are trained and provided ongoing support throughout their tutoring experience.  This is a great opportunity to pass on the joy of reading. 
For further information contact:  Stephanie Larson at (815) 963-7323 

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS
Website Address:  www.rockfordymca.org

Project Title:  COMMUNITY BASED MENTORING
Type of Project:  Ongoing
Minimum Age Requirement:  21 years
Time Commitment:  4 hours per month
Training/Orientation Requirement:  Yes

Description
In this program, well-screened volunteer adult mentors (Bigs) are matched on a one-to-one basis with youth (Littles) ages 6-12.  Matches meet a minimum of twice a month to spend time together in activities that are mutually enjoyable such as playing catch, going to the YMCA, or volunteering in the community.  The most important thing is not the actual activity, but the time spent building friendship and trust, lending guidance and care to the Little.  The intent of this program is to provide youth facing adversity with positive role models who assist the children in reaching their full potential both academically and socially.
For further information contact:  Tabatha Endres Cruz at (815) 489-1133.

REMEDIES RENEWING LIVES
Website Address:  www.remediesrenewinglives.org

Project Title:  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER VOLUNTEER
Type of Project:  Ongoing
Minimum Age Requirement:  18 years
Time Commitment:  Varies
Training/Orientation Requirement:  All volunteer work that involves unsupervised access to clients requires a specific 40-hour training class offered twice per year.  Those without the required training may be interested in activities included in the description below.

Description
Volunteers are needed to help with various projects such as assembling "going home" boxes for those leaving the shelter; working in our supply room to put together welcome kits for women as they enter the shelter; repaint/decorate a bedroom, bathroom or laundry room; teach a cooking with commodities class; provide a movie, popcorn and pop one evening.
For more information contact: Becky Winstead at (815) 966-1285.

PRAIRIE STATE LEGAL SERVICES
Website Address:  www.pslegal.org

Project Title:  VOLUNTEER FAIR HOUSING TESTER
Type of Project:  Ongoing
Minimum Age Requirement:  18 years
Time Commitment:  3 Hours per Month
Training/Orientation Requirement:  Prairie State Fair Housing Project will provide volunteer training.  Please contact Jasmina Popaja at jpopaja@pslegal.org or 815-668-4412 for more information.

Description
Prairie State Legal Services Fair Housing Project is looking for volunteer testers to help investigate housing discrimination. Following training, testers meet with housing providers and record their transactions in a report.  Prairie State Fair Housing Project staff then reviews and compares reports from various testers to determine if housing discrimination took place.  Persons with disabilities and people of all races, colors, ages, ethnicities, and sexual orientations are welcome.

Basic requirements:

Volunteer testers need to have the following:
 - a state-issued ID
 - authorization to work in the United States
 - access to transportation
 - access to a computer

Volunteer testers cannot have:
 - prior felony convictions or convictions of crimes involving fraud or perjury
 - an active real estate license

Benefits:

Volunteers will:
 - help make your community more inclusive and welcoming
 - learn new skills, including report writing
 - receive a small stipend and travel reimbursement each time you help with a test

For opportunities in Winnebago and Boone Counties, please contact Jasmina Popaja at jpopaja@pslegal.org or (815) 668-4412.

Project Title:  FAIR HOUSING PROJECT VOLUNTEER
Type of Project:  Ongoing
Minimum Age Requirement:  18 years
Time Commitment:  1-10 Hours per Month
Training Orientation Requirement:  Orientation to Prairie State Legal's services and project.

Description
Prairie State Fair Housing Project is looking for outreach volunteers to help staff our table during community events.  As a volunteer, you will help us inform members of the community about Prairie State's free legal services and the work of the Fair Housing Project.  It is a perfect opportunity for people who prefer a flexible schedule.
For further information, contact Jasmina Popaja at (815) 668-4412.

BOONE COUNTY CASA
Website Address: 
http://www.boonecountycasa.org

Project Title:  COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE
Type of Project:  Ongoing
Minimum Age Requirement:  21 years
Time Commitment:  12 Hours per Month
Training/Orientation Requirement:  CASA volunteers must be over the age of 21 and have their own transportation.  Criminal background checks are completed on all applicants.  Volunteers participate in a free, 30-hour training which covers courtroom procedures, social services, the juvenile justice system, interviewing, reports, dynamics of the family, and the special needs of children who have been abused or neglected.  The training is usually completed on an individual basis, allowing the dates and times to be planned around the volunteer('s) schedule.

Description
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) are specially trained citizens appointed by the court to serve as guardian ad litems (GALs) in cases alleging abuse, neglect, or dependence of a child.  Our goal is to help prevent children from becoming lost in the court system.  In Boone County, advocates are assigned to every juvenile abuse and neglect case.  CASA('s) volunteer representation is aimed at providing each child with a safe, permanent, nurturing environment and delivery of appropriate services.  CASA / GALs review records, research information, and talk to everyone involved including the child, parents, foster parents, other caretakers, teachers, family members, attorneys, case workers, counselors, and any other person that may have relevant information in the case.  They then prepare a written recommendation for the judge and monitor the case until it is closed.  Volunteering as a CASA / GAL can be one of the most challenging and rewarding opportunities you can find.  You can change a child('s) life today!  For further information, contact:  Charlotte Meier at (815) 547-6599.