Volunteers play a vital role in SARA’s mission to educate our community and assist and empower people who have experienced sexual violence. Our volunteer opportunities include Hotline Volunteers, Community Outreach Volunteers, Administrative Volunteers, and Group Volunteers.
SARA's 24/7 hotline offers free and confidential support to survivors of sexual violence and their friends and families, allied professionals, and the general public. Hotline volunteers help provide callers with appropriate referrals and resources to empower callers to make their own choices and conduct their own healing process.
18+ years old
Background & Reference-Check
40-hour Crisis Services Training
Minimum volunteer commitment: 1-2 shifts/month. Shifts range from 4-12 hour blocks on weeknights, weekends, and holidays. Hotline volunteers must commit to the Hotline Volunteer role for at least 1 year.
Crisis Services Training:
Volunteers will be trained in many elements of crisis line work through the duration of training. Training consists of a mixture of lecture, small group activities, and call simulation.
Basic Advocacy and Counseling Skills
Information on Sexual Assault
Suicide and Self-Inflicted Harm
Legal Information and Processes
Medical Information and Processes
Challenging Call Scenarios and Simulation
The 2023 Winter Crisis Services Training will be on the following dates:
Monday, January 30 5:30-8:30p
Wednesday, February 1 5:30-8:30p
Saturday, February 4 10a-4p
Monday, February 6 5:30-8:30p
Wednesday, February 8 5:30-8:30p
Monday, February 13 5:30-8:30p
Wednesday, February 15 5:30-8:30p
Saturday, February 18 10a-4p
The 2023 Spring Crisis Services Training will be on the following dates:
Tuesday, April 25 5:30-8:30p
Thursday, April 27 5:30-8:30p
Saturday, April 29 10a-4p
Tuesday, May 2 5:30-8:30p
Thursday, May 4 5:30-8:30p
Tuesday, May 9 5:30-8:30p
Thursday, May 11 5:30-8:30p
Saturday, May 13 10a-4p
The 2023 Fall Crisis Services Training will be on the following dates:
Monday, September 25 5:30-8:30p
Wednesday, September 27 5:30-8:30p
Saturday, September 30 10a-4p
Monday, October 2 5:30-8:30p
Wednesday, October 4 5:30-8:30p
Monday, October 9 5:30-8:30p
Wednesday, October 11 5:30-8:30p
Saturday, October 14 10a-4p
You must attend all 8 sessions to be eligible to be a hotline volunteer. If necessary, you may miss one session but it must be made up in the next cycle of trainings.
Hotline Volunteer FAQ:
If I’ve completed a hotline training elsewhere, do I still have to go through SARA’s training?
Yup! Sorry, different hotlines have different protocol, and we want to make sure we’re on the same page. We’re sure there’s stuff that’ll be familiar, but a lot of things will be new, too! That said, we’d love to hear your perspective on how things were different with your former experiences, and maybe use your expertise to improve our own protocol.
Can I take calls from home?
Yes! Our hotline system allows calls to be forwarded to your personal phone lines, so there is no requirement for volunteers to be at the SARA office while taking a hotline shift.
Do I have a support system?
Definitely. SARA staff serves on call 24/7 and is always available to debrief with you after hotline calls. Additionally, we work to maintain a community of all our volunteers and advocates. Call content can be heavy, and debriefing with others helps our volunteers maintain enthusiasm for the work. We host monthly meetings for our volunteers and advocates to connect with one another, process their work, and boost skills.
Will I receive a training manual?
Yes! We create a comprehensive manual that will include all your training materials and resources to access while taking hotline calls. This manual will be yours to keep.
Any other questions? Contact our Crisis Services Coordinator at email@example.com.
Community Outreach Volunteers
Community Outreach Volunteers organize and participate in community awareness events and projects. As a Community Outreach Volunteer, you will team up with other people in our community who care about making positive change, and interact with community members at events, while also providing the necessary support for these events and projects to take place. Participation in a 2-hour volunteer orientation is required. Outreach Volunteers organize, execute, and participate in community awareness events; reach out to community organizations, both local and rural; table specific events; and promote the agency's vision and mission.
2022 Outreach Trainings will take place on the following dates:
Thursday, November 17 from 5:30-8:30pm
You only need to attend one session to become an outreach volunteer. If there is expressed interest in alternative or additional training dates, changes can be made. If you are interested in becoming an outreach volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Administrative Volunteers assist with answering office phones, greeting clients, and completing office responsibilities and projects as needed. Availability for this type of volunteer is extremely limited and only on an as-needed basis.
Group Volunteers usually volunteer on a one-time or yearly basis and assist with a larger project in and around our office/community. Past group volunteer projects include painting, organizing, and flyering. We can host office groups, friend groups, clubs, etc. Groups are not required to complete an application. Upon arrival, groups will be given a brief presentation on SARA and will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.
If your group is interested in volunteering, please email email@example.com.
All prospective volunteers must complete an application indicating interest, experience, and relationship with sexual assault and crisis. We are looking for caring, reliable, empathetic, and non-judgmental individuals who are willing to commit to emotionally challenging work.
Volunteer candidates must attend an interview in order to determine aptitude for the training program and volunteer commitment. Interviews are generally 15-30 minutes long and focus on interpersonal skills and experience with crisis and sexual assault.
We require 3 references to be contacted per volunteer. These references may be friends, coworkers, supervisors, professors, fellow volunteers, etc. They may not be family members or therapists. The best people to list as references are people who have known the candidate for a long time, can speak to their ability to handle crisis situations, emotional stability, and reliability. Also essential is that the references are easily contacted by phone or email.
If you have any additional questions about volunteer opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.