Want to Learn More About Volunteering with Cornerstones?
Each month we host a Volunteer Orientation that provides more background on our programs, current needs, and opportunities to get involved. Register HERE.
Have a Question or an Idea for Getting Involved with Cornerstones?
We’d love to hear from you! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities
(Click on the links below for more details about these upcoming events. No orientation is required for these activities unless specified.)
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Volunteers under the age of 16 must have adult supervision.
NOTE: The following COVID restrictions and requirements have been lifted for our volunteers except at Embry Rucker Community Shelter, where they remain in effect for all staff, volunteers, and visitors:
- sign an assumption of risk statement (liability waiver) related to COVID19 (parents must sign for youth under 18 years of age)
- fill out a COVID19 symptom and travel questionnaire
- undergo a temperature check
- wear a mask
NOTE: We rely on our volunteers to honor their scheduled commitments. Please sign up only if you can fulfill the volunteer opportunity. If you must cancel, please do so online in a timely manner so others have the chance to take your place.
Activity Leaders — You can inspire others, teach them a new life skill, foster community and a sense of accomplishment!
Lead a games night or other recreational activity at our shelter or community programs. Teach a class for adults or teens. Awaken the sense of wonder in a child by leading a fun science experiment. Sew, build, create, cook, or even Zumba your way through volunteering to help our clients thrive as you share your knowledge and talents with them. Choose an option we currently offer, or design and conduct your own, to meet our clients’ needs or just add some enjoyment to their day.
Administrative Assistants — Help us help them!
You can support the professionals who dedicate their lives to meeting the needs of others in our community. Being a non-profit professional means doing a lot of work with few resources, including administrative help to manage all the required paperwork and other office tasks that take time away from direct connections with our clients. You can help lighten the load—physically and emotionally– by providing the time and assistance that we could never afford. Duties vary by position but could include answering phones, creating spreadsheets and word documents, writing thank you notes, doing data entry, copying and assembling resource materials, stuffing mailers, filing, shredding, and other light office tasks.
Advocates — If not you, who?
Now more than ever, it’s important to be informed and speak out about the social issues that adversely affect our community. Learn more about the issues. Amplify the voices of those who strive to create a more supportive and equitable community. Help us bring about systems change to overcome the challenges of food insecurity, homelessness, lack of affordable housing and obtaining quality childcare. Sign up for our advocacy e-news, and join us for public events, forums, legislative days, and other opportunities to make our voices heard for the good of our community.
Bagged Meal Makers — This is the perfect activity for your family, small group, class, or office.
Volunteers of all ages can lend a hand to meet this most basic human need—FOOD. Contact us for the preparation guidelines and to schedule a date to provide these meals for our homeless clients served by Embry Rucker Community Shelter. Purchase the food, prepare the bagged meals at your site, and deliver them to us!
Donation Assistants — Put your Tetris skills to practical use and organize to your hearts’ content!
We receive and distribute donations of food, new clothing, toiletries, cleaning supplies, housewarming baskets, diapers and much more. With our limited manpower and storage space, we continually need your help to keep it all organized, shepherd the resources properly, and ensure that perishable items are used before they expire.
Donation Drive Assistants — Become one of Santa’s Elves, a Marvelous Minion, a Backpack Bundler, a Coat Hanger, or a Turkey Box Trotter!
We need volunteers at our organized donation drives to help with intake, sorting and distribution of things like holiday gifts for kids, school backpacks, Thanksgiving food boxes, warm winter coats, and more. With your help we can give our under-resourced neighbors the assistance they need to make the holidays brighter, have food and warm outerwear for their families, and make back-to-school a little more manageable.
Donation Drive Sponsors — Rally the troops to gather the goods!
Lead your team, office, church, family or other group to collect needed items for one of our Seasonal Drives (Back to School, Thanksgiving Food Boxes, Gifts for Kids, Winter Coat Closet) or pick a theme from one of our many program wish lists. Contact us for sign up information or suggestions on our current urgent needs and how you can help!
Donation Transporters — You can help those in need and save the environment!
Have your own transportation and a bit of time to travel locally? Volunteer to pick up donations of nutritious fresh and prepared foods from local businesses. Or you can make occasional pick-ups of other materials and supplies offered to us and deliver them to our sites or to client homes, as needed. Your efforts provide valuable food and supplies to those in need, and help prevent quality food and reusable items from entering our landfills.
Farmers' Market Gleaners — Put healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables on the menu for families and seniors on limited incomes.
Vendors at our local farmer’s market are happy to share surplus produce with us! At the end of each market session, we send small groups of volunteers around to their booths to collect the produce and sort it for distribution at our nearby food pantry. A few hours of your time, carrying the bins and sorting the produce means that many low-income families and elderly people (often on restricted diets) can have a variety of fresh, healthy, nutritious food to eat 3 seasons of the year!
Farmers’ Market SNAP Assistants — This one is a SNAP! Or is it a Stretch?
Support our clients who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (i.e. “food stamps”) as we help them stretch their food dollars to buy nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables from our local farmers’ market. Arrive early to staff our tent at the Lake Anne Farmer’s Market. Process payments on clients’ SNAP cards, and distribute the tokens accepted as payment by vendors. Provide clients with additional matching fund tokens we offer as an incentive to stretch their food dollars. Interact with farmer’s who accept the payments and help foster a productive relationship with them.
Financial Literacy Mentors — Make a profound difference. Dedicate your time and guidance to help one special family achieve a brighter financial future.
Provide individualized attention and coaching to help a family set and achieve financial goals. As a mentor, you assist and educate families in organizing financial documents, budgeting, file management techniques, tracking daily spending, and understanding any past counter-productive relationship they’ve held with money. You walk alongside the family, attending class and meeting monthly, to encourage and inspire change for a more stable and successful future.
Front Desk Assistants — You can make a positive first impression on everyone who walks through our doors!
Your friendly, welcoming smile and greeting can help put our clients and community members at ease as they enter our facilities, often under stressful conditions. Assist with a wide variety of tasks to ensure that the day-to-day operations of our program sites run smoothly. Depending on location you will greet the public, answer telephone calls, assist with donations deliveries, and directly assist clients with obtaining information, mail, needed supplies, and services. You will connect them to appropriate staff members, and complete other duties that contribute to the smooth running of operations.
Interpreters/Translators — Imagine trying to ask for help when you don’t know the words, and can’t understand the answers….
You can bridge the communication divide between our community and the services they need. If you are fluent in Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Urdu or Amharic (speaking and writing) we could use your help for a variety of assignments. To volunteer you should also be a fluent English speaker and writer.
Meal Caterers/Preparers — Bring comfort, build community, and share hospitality!
Your team or small group can volunteer with us by providing the food (or funds) and preparing and serving a hot meal for our clients. The Embry Rucker Community Shelter serves 3 hot meals each day. Seasonally, our Hypothermia Prevention Program serves hot dinners nightly. Our other programs, including the Connections for Hope Partnership and Herndon Neighborhood Resource Center, host meetings and events where providing a meal to our clients and their families helps us establish stronger bonds in the community.
Meal Servers — Service with a smile can brighten even the darkest day for our homeless clients!
Every day of the year, at Embry Rucker Community Shelter we prepare over 300 hot meals for our residents and outreach clients. We rely on you, our volunteers, to staff the serving line. Here you can serve up a smile with a healthy meal and ensure that nobody goes hungry on your watch!
Media Assistants — Help us tell our story through pictures or video.
You can capture our volunteers in action! You can be the paparazzi at one of our “red carpet” events! You can document our clients’ struggles (with their consent) in a respectful and meaningful way. All these help tell the Cornerstones story and encourage support of our mission.
Mentors — Do you remember that special person who made a positive difference in your life? You can be that person to someone who needs you.
Provide general encouragement and friendship to assist an adult, youth, or entire family with their educational, professional, or personal goals. You must be dedicated and willing to commit to an ongoing investment of time and involvement in the mentee’s life.
Pathways to Sustainable Employment Program Volunteers —
Do you come from an HR, recruiting, career onboarding, management, or similar background, with a bit of life (Age 25 or better, please!) and professional work experience under your belt?
We’d love your support for our Pathways to Sustainable Employment program. You can improve the lives of our clients and their families by enhancing their employment opportunities and the skills they need to master to obtain and maintain employment. Volunteer in our clinics and/or classes, assist clients in building/customizing their resume and cover letter, research and apply for jobs, and perform other tasks needed to help them gain employment. Clinics are held every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 1:00-4:00pm. Classes are held regularly on various days, evenings, or weekend schedules for the convenience of participants.
You could also be a Career Mentor and provide employment support to an assigned mentee who completed our skills-based training and seeks employment. As a Career Mentor, you help mentees research and apply for work, participate in mock interviews, discuss employment decisions, and perform other tasks needed to help your mentee obtain and retain employment. Mentors with complementary employment backgrounds/interests, especially in the IT and/or Healthcare sectors are desirable, but not required. It is recommended that Mentors meet with mentees at least once a week, at a mutually agreed upon time, until the mentee has found work and then once a month for six months, depending on need.
Professional Services — Imagine the possibilities!
Put your professional skills or services to use as a Cornerstones volunteer! We would love to talk to you about your professional skills or services and see if there’s a perfect match for your assistance in one of our programs.
Tutors — Share the joy of learning with children and youth who need your help and encouragement!
You work individually and in small groups to reinforce academic subjects that our young clients are struggling in. You encourage a love of learning to help bring out their individual strengths and keep them motivated to succeed. Your commitment for the duration of the school year helps foster the stability and continuity that will allow them to thrive!
Community Service and Court-related Service.
Looking for service learning opportunities for student volunteers? Need to complete community service hours for court-related matters? Mutually beneficial relationships wanted!
Please reach out to us for more information if you have an interest in helping the community and a requirement to fill! Limited offerings for youth under age 16. Placements not guaranteed, but we will do our best to match you with an appropriate opportunity.
*MSW/Social Work Internships are handled by a separate agency program. Check out our website at: https://www.cornerstonesva.org/internships/*
Please contact Susan Alger, Director, Volunteer and Community Engagement, at 571-323-1383 or Susan.Alger@Cornerstonesva.org
Cornerstones accepts a limited number of volunteers seeking community service hours for court related matters. Individuals charged or convicted of a traffic or criminal matter, including those hoping to accumulate good-faith hours pre-court, may be accepted on a case-by-case basis after being interviewed by our Volunteer and Community Engagement Staff. Only individuals with a non-violent misdemeanor may qualify.
In order to receive documentation of service at Cornerstones, all court-related volunteers must:
- Identify as a volunteer seeking court-related hours and specify the number of hours needed with the due date to our Volunteer and Community Engagement Staff.
- Send in all court referral documents to our Volunteer and Community Engagement Staff.
- Pay a $50 administrative fee.
Court-related volunteers must keep a record of their hours using an official Cornerstones volunteer log provided. Individuals who break volunteer protocol and/or are found tampering with their hours will be removed from service and no documentation of service will be provided.
Please contact Saira Sufi, Manager, Volunteer and Community Engagement at 571-323-1429 or Saira.Sufi@cornerstonesva.org for more information.