Volunteer FAQ

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Volunteer FAQ
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Location

Where is REACH located?   REACH is located at 1804 S. Washington Ave. Lansing, MI 48910 Approximately one block North of Mt. Hope Ave. and approximately 1/2 mile South of 496 (or Downtown Lansing), on the West side of Washington Ave., corner of Smith and Washington. You can Google a map or go to: www.reachstudioart.org (map on lower right of site page)

Where can I park?  Park in the area behind REACH… just off the alley on Smith St.   You may also park behind REACH on the North side of Smith Ave.  Please avoid parking in “the front” by the door, as we like to save this for parents dropping off participants.

Can I get to REACH by bus? REACH is located one block either direction from a #2 bus stop.  CONTACT CATA FOR UPDATED BUS SCHEDULES.  Please make sure to give yourself enough travel time.

How do I know that I am in the right place? When you get to the Studio you will see paintings hung on the building adjacent to the studio.  Across the street is a big red flower chair and a mosaic wall.

How do I know what door to go in?  The door for the studio is located behind the building. The circular sidewalk will take you from the parking lot to a set of double glass doors. These doors will remain unlocked during business hours.

What if the door is locked when I get there?  The doors should remain unlocked during business hours. If they happen to be locked, please call us at 517-999-3643. We may have forgotten to unlock the door.

Is REACH in a “safe neighborhood”?  REACH is located in a low-income City neighborhood that needs “positive” places like REACH to provide safe and creative activities for children and families. As with other businesses located on main drags we occasionally get pan handlers who stop in to ask for work or cash.  We have not had any incidents which require police intervention, but we do have strict policies about how to respond to such visitors which are included in our policy manual.

 About Volunteering

How can I learn more about REACH before completing the application process? Go to our website: http://www.reachstudioart.org/ where you will find information about all our regular programming, mission, vision and core values, media coverage, etc.  And we are always glad to answer questions over the phone or e-mail.

Who will I meet when I get to REACH? When you get to REACH for the interview you will meet the Program Assistant, Tabor Vits.  You may meet the director, Alice Brinkman, or other staff, volunteers or participants.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?
If you are between the ages of 16-18 we would love to have you volunteer up to 10 hours a week! but it must be approved by your parent or guardian.

Do I get to choose how and when I volunteer?  We will work diligently to assign you a volunteer position that best meets your qualifications, our needs, and yours and our schedule.

Can I fulfill community service and/or course required volunteer hours at REACH?  Yes, as long as you qualify through our application process and your volunteer requirements fit with our volunteer options.

What should I wear when I volunteer? Please wear clothing that you won’t be afraid of getting messy or painted on!  Please wear comfortable and appropriate clothing for bending and reaching and working with children.

Do I need to bring anything with me?  Bring the following things to your interview: A) 2 forms of picture identification (driver’s license, state ID, student ID, passport, etc).  B) School or work schedule C) Calendar/date book  D) Your cell phone if you have one.   TO VOLUNTEER, bring a happy and positively motivated you to assist staff, teachers and students.  Leave valuable items at home.

Why does REACH need volunteers?  Volunteers contribute a critical part to increasing our capacity to serve more individuals and serve with higher quality.  Our goal is to have one volunteer for every four kids.

Will I get a break on my volunteer shift?  Shifts are short so we don’t encourage breaks.

What do I do if I don’t like my volunteer task?  It is important to know what works and what does not. If you do not feel that the position requirements fit your expectations or qualifications, please tell the volunteer coordinator right away. If possible we will try to find a position that works better for you.

Will REACH still be open during bad weather (especially snowstorms in winter)?  If the Lansing School District closes school because of weather, than our after school programming will be canceled, and you should not come in for your volunteer shift.  Usually school cancellations are posted on area radio and TV stations first thing in the morning.  Feel free to call if you have questions.  We will try to call and let you know if a program has been canceled.

Can I make suggestions, comments, or ask questions of the Staff?  We welcome hearing from you! We especially want to know how we can encourage and support you in your volunteer role at REACH.  Please be sure to let us know when there are ways we can help you do your job better.

How do I know what to expect on my first day of volunteering?  The orientation will provide more information relevant to the volunteer position. The atmosphere at REACH is casual. Many of our volunteers and instructors have been with REACH for several years and will welcome you to a cooperative learning environment. Everyone is eager to learn and share with you.

Does REACH provide food and beverages during the shift?  On occasion we provide snacks for the youth in our programs; if we have extras the volunteers are invited to partake!  We encourage you to bring your own food if you know you will need to eat while you are here.  If you love to bake, we welcome you to share your creations with us!

If I bring in food that is perishable is there a place to store it?  Yes, we have a small refrigerator/freezer.

If I bring in snacks for the kids, are there certain foods I should avoid?  We like to encourage “healthy” snacks like fresh fruit, cheese and crackers, and less sugary items… but we will welcome almost any donation of snack items. It’s helpful to us if you let us know you are planning to bring a snack, that way we will avoid purchasing something perishable for the day. Please let us know if there are any common allergens included in your snack.

When do I get my schedule and how often will I be scheduled?  For most of our positions we encourage volunteers to sign up for weekly shifts, but can be flexible if you need a different frequency.  We will discuss your schedule the day of your volunteer orientation and will post the schedule on our “Volunteer Wall.”

Who should I talk to if I have a schedule issue or conflict?  You should talk to the Volunteer Coordinator, Joy Baldwin, first.  If she is unavailable, please let Alice know.  You should keep Joy’s phone number and e-mail address in your telephone.

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