Volunteer at AVI
- What we look for in a volunteer
- Becoming a volunteer
- The three most common FAQ's
- What are some examples of things I can do as an AVI volunteer?
- Contact us
AVI relies on volunteer support so that we are able to offer assistance to people living with HIV, to educate the public about matters related to HIV and Hepatitis C, and to operate the Needle Exchange in Victoria. Every year, over 13,000 hours are contributed by volunteers; clearly we wouldn’t be able to provide the level of service and support that we do without the generous contributions of volunteers. There are many volunteer opportunities you can become involved in that will help AVI to carry out its mandate to to confront AIDS, prevent the spread of HIV through education, support all those affected by the disease, and assist with harm reduction. Volunteering may mean taking a shift on reception or serving meals at our hot lunch program. Some AVI volunteers get involved with AVI special events including AIDS Awareness Week, and Dining Out For Life, a yearly fundraising event. As well, volunteers help with anything from stocking supplies for our needle exchange programs to doing "rig digs" - which means cleaning up an area of the community where used syringes may have been discarded or dropped. There are all sorts of volunteer opportunities with AVI. If you would like to get involved with us, please read on!
Volunteers often interact with staff, service users and members of the public on behalf of AVI. We count on volunteers to disseminate information and to interact with people in a supportive manner. The qualities we look for in a volunteer are:
- Commitment, personal integrity, a sense of humor, humility, diligence, reliability.
- Being comfortable with all kinds of people including those that are physically or mentally ill, street-involved folks, queers (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, two-spirited…), intravenous drug users and those with addiction issues.
- A willingness to learn about and keep up-to-date about HIV/AIDS related issues, challenging any ignorance and judgments they identify in themselves or others.
- A strong sense of personal and professional boundaries and an understanding of confidentiality issues.
During core training there are opportunities for volunteers to consider and explore these qualities and challenges in greater depth. [ Back to top ]
- The Volunteer Application Form Start off by submitting a request for our two-page application form. This helps us learn a little bit about you, your interests and skills, and when you are available for volunteering. Some of the questions are personal. This form is confidential. We recommend that you spend some time reflecting on and completing the application.
- Core Training We provide volunteers with a core training (volunteer orientation) program which consists of three courses: 'Volunteering at AVI' , 'HIV/AIDS Basics' and 'hepatitis C Basics' . We require that all volunteers participate in these courses which are offered three or four times over the course of a year.
- The Screening Interview After you have attended 'Volunteering at AVI', we will arrange an interview with you. The interview provides you with more information about AVI, helps us decide how you might make the best contribution to AVI while satisfying your needs to be an effective volunteer. The most important thing for you to consider is what type of volunteer activity would suit your skills, your learning goals and your schedule.
- How much volunteer time do I need to give?
AVI expects a minimum six-month time commitment from volunteers who are accepted into AIDS Vancouver Island. Volunteers involved with ongoing programs or projects often have regularly scheduled times to volunteer giving an average of two to four hours per week. However, some volunteers involved with special events or short-term projects fulfill a concentrated amount of their volunteering commitment in a relatively short period of time through these activities.
- Can I volunteer before I take Core Training?
Yes, some volunteer jobs can be started prior to Core Training as they involve on-the-job orientation. When volunteers start their work prior to Core Training they are still expected to complete training when it is offered.
- Can I volunteer after regular business hours?
While the majority of the volunteer opportunities at AVI occur during regular business hours, various special events and Street Outreach Services' activities provide volunteer opportunities that occur outside of business hours. The Volunteer Application form lists many jobs and activities you can choose as areas of interest.
AVI Volunteer Opportunities
- Reception Reception volunteers provide the first contact for people coming in to the office. They greet visitors, answering and direct telephone calls, setup appointments, process mail, and complete office tasks. Some photocopying and faxing may be involved. Two and three hour shifts are available.
- Fund Development Volunteers are needed to help AVI with fundraising events, like Dining Out for Life. Volunteers are also needed to help develop a wide variety of promotional materials and assist with promotion and distribution. Lots to do!
- Hot Lunch Program The Hot Lunch Program serves a free, hot lunch to registered members who are HIV positive five days a week. The program is supported by volunteers, whoserve meals, do clean up and assist with distribution of supports to members.
- Additional Volunteer Opportunities Current opportunities are presented at Volunteer Orientation Sessions
If you have any further questions about volunteering at AIDS Vancouver Island, please contact the Manager of Volunteer Services, at (250) 384-2366 or by E-mailing Leslie Robinson, Volunteers Officer, at email@example.com. Or, if you're ready start now, simply fill out a request and we'll send you our Volunteer Application Form. You can fax or mail the form to the address or fax number indicated at the bottom of the application. We look forward to hearing from you!