24-hour crisis hotline 330.376.0040

Volunteer

Victim Assistance Program could not provide services to the 6,000 victims a year without the help of volunteers. Donating your time and talents to assist victims of crime is rewarding, however it can also be challenging. Working with victims is not for everyone so we try to select individuals with compassion, empathy, an educational background, experience, and the desire to help victims regardless of the environment.

The following is a list of potential volunteer activities:

  • Conduct cold calls to victims who have filed police reports which we receive on a daily basis;
  • Answer the 24 hour hotline to provide crisis intervention, education and community referrals;
  • Assist walk in victims at a variety of our satellite offices;
  • Assist victims in completing legal paperwork;
    • Civil Protection order;
    • Anti-stalking order paperwork;
    • Crime victim compensation paperwork;
  • Create safety plans with victims;
  • Provide crisis intervention;
  • Accompany victims to the domestic relations court to provide support while attending an exparte civil protection order or full hearing in front of a magistrate;
  • Accompany an Akron Police Officer on their shift: “Police Ride A Long”;
  • Accompany an advocate to provide crisis intervention at the crime scene;
  • Accompany an advocate & an officer to provide a death notification.

The following is a list of activities volunteers may perform to help the agency:

  • Plan and attend fundraising & awareness events;
  • Attend health fairs & community events to disseminate information about services;
  • Help staff by updating our social media websites;
  • Help the grant writer with submissions and or research;
  • Cleaning & organizing the building;
  • Attend traveing staff meetings to learn about community resources;
  • Other miscellaneous projects;

Quote from a volunteer: "Being at VAP not only gives me time to make a difference in people’s lives, it makes me happy to be able to relate to people on a more personal level.  I have never been somewhere that made me happier and left me more satisfied at the end of the day."

Are you ready to get started? Please take a look at the below steps:

  1. Are we a good fit? If you feel we can depend on you and are ready to commit to a minimum of 8 hours per month to help us carry out our mission, you are ready to move on!
  2. Application. Please complete an application which can be located by clicking here and submit to the Director of Professional Enhancement, Dana Zedak at dzedak@victimassistanceprogram.org or via mail.
  3. Interview. The Director of Professional Enhancement will contact you to schedule an interview within two weeks of receiving you application. The Director of Professional Enhancement will accept or deny candidates based on the agency need, the individuals level of commitment, the individual's availability and the individual’s ability to help us carry out our mission. (Individuals with limited mobility or disabilities are welcomed to apply as accommodations can be made).
  4. Criminal Background Check. Like staff, all volunteers must grant us permission to run a criminal background check to ensure the individual does not have any felonies or violent misdemeanors.
  5. Training. All volunteers are expected to engage in a 40-hour training series, which is offered three times a year. This training requires individuals to attend classes and engage in self assignments. Volunteers may not have any client interactions without completing our training program.
  6. Placement.
    1. Main office: all volunteers begin their service at the main office. Individuals will observe advocates working with clients and first engage in client interaction by making police report phone calls while being monitored. The Director of Professional Enhancement will determine when the individual is ready to assist a client and will do so with the coordinator present. In time, the coordinator will approve the volunteer to work alone.
    2. Out in the field: once the coordinator approves an individual to work alone, the coordinator will schedule the volunteer to spend the day at various satellite offices to learn about and assist victims in other aspects of our services. All advocates are part of the volunteer training program and each advocate will train individuals on the core aspect of their responsibilities.