Who are our volunteers?
Volunteers must be at least 14 years old; there are exceptions when volunteering with a group (e.g. youth groups, Girl Scouts). However, volunteers range in age from teenagers to seasoned adults. In addition to the wide range in ages, volunteers also have a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
Some volunteers come to TASK with no experience at all, many of which are high school students who enjoy working with peers and young children. Other volunteers are currently pursuing undergraduate degrees or professional programs such as occupational therapy, physical therapy and recreational therapy. We also have volunteers who work in the fields of occupational therapy, physical therapy, and special education, as well as adults who have no ties to the special needs community in their professional careers.
Whether you have absolutely no experience or an exceptionally large amount of experience working with people with disabilities, if you have a positive attitude, are reliable, and like working with children, teenagers, and young adults with various disabilities, you would be a great volunteer at TASK! Read TASK Volunteer Procedures and Policies Manual. Please note: TASK is not a provider for court-ordered service hours, only service hours for schools, organizations or businesses
Why are volunteers VITAL to TASK?
TASK is primarily run by dedicated volunteers who support and guide athletes during TASK activities, make-up our Board of Directors and serve on planning committees. Through our volunteers and philanthropic organizations, TASK is a reality.
Many participants at TASK need one-on-one support to participate in an activity. Without volunteer support, our athletes would be unable to participate. Only through having enough volunteers are we able to have enough support for every athlete to achieve their dreams.
Why is volunteering beneficial to me?
There are many benefits to volunteering besides gathering volunteer hours. Being a volunteer, you are making a difference in the lives of our participants. TASK is the only place where many of our athletes get to play sports or participate in this type of programming due to a variety of levels of ability. As a TASK volunteer, you should feel proud knowing that you assisted an athlete in participating in an activity that otherwise he or she might not be able to do. As a volunteer at TASK, you are also gaining skills and life experience that enhances your life. You get to meet a wide variety of volunteers from all over the St. Louis area. You also gain confidence and new skill sets while supporting and assisting participants with various disabilities. Although at times it can be challenging, there is nothing better than seeing the excitement and smiles on the faces of athletes who completed an activity with the support of the volunteers!
What are the expectations of me as a TASK Volunteer?
As a TASK Volunteer I agree to:
▪ Be prompt. Please show up at least 20 minutes before the scheduled event to help set up equipment.
▪ Ask for help if you need it.
▪ Provide for the general welfare, health and safety of all TASK athletes and volunteers.
▪ Dress and act in an appropriate manner at all times.
▪ Follow the established rules and guidelines of TASK and/or any agency involved with TASK.
▪ Report any emergencies to the appropriate authorities after first taking immediate action to ensure the health and safety of the participants.
▪ Abstain from the consumption or use of all alcohol, tobacco products and illegal substances while working with TASK athletes or while involved with TASK programs.
▪ Not engage in any inappropriate contact or relationship with athletes, volunteers or other participants of TASK
Expectations when working with your athlete…
▪ Initiate athlete participation. Some athletes might need to be talked into playing or invited to play.
▪ Be enthusiastic while working with your athlete - don’t just stand around. Smile and enjoy yourself. If you have fun, he/she will too.
▪ Encourage participation and team cooperation- be a cheerleader for all the athletes.
▪ Treat all athletes with respect.
▪ Be a role model- lead by example.
▪ If your athlete runs or leaves the area, follow him or her.
▪Always be with and supervise your athlete. If he/she needs to go to the restroom, let a head coach know. Don’t send anyone by themselves anywhere.
▪ Your main socialization should be with your athlete - not with the other volunteers. Assisting your athlete comes first.