Prince of Peace Center relies on volunteers in order to carry out our mission of building community, strengthening families, and reducing poverty throughout Mercer County. Volunteers play a crucial role in helping us provide as many services as we can to our community. Those who choose to volunteer are willing to give their time and energy in support of our mission.
The Center has nearly 300 active volunteers who offer their support throughout the year. Each volunteer brings valuable skills and experiences, and provides PoPC staff members and other volunteers with the valuable opportunity to look at our services from a new perspective. Volunteers come from all walks of life and parts of Mercer County; many of our most dedicated helping hands are those who once received services from PoPC and have come to give back.
Choosing to give your time at Prince of Peace Center provides an opportunity to serve your neighbors and community directly, to interact with a marginalized section of the population that comprises an essential part of where we live, and to gain a profound, personal understanding of the daily struggles faced by the people who may very well be living right around the corner.
Who can volunteer?
Prince of Peace Center welcomes any and all volunteers with open minds, open hearts, and a willingness to serve.Students, parents, youth groups, community organizations – all are welcome. Any individual wishing to sign up as a volunteer can fill out our online volunteer application, which is sent to our volunteer coordinator for further contact.
There is one restriction: as mandated by our policies, sex offenders are not permitted to volunteer at Prince of Peace Center.
What can I do?
The variety of services and programs at Prince of Peace Center provide an equal variety of opportunities to volunteer. What you, personally, can do may depend on your skills or experience; it may also depend on the availability of volunteer work at the time. Like many other organizations, we have our busy days and our quiet days.
The activities in which our volunteers participate include:
- Sorting donated clothing items
- Assisting in restocking the thrift store
- Assembling food bags for senior citizens in the Food Program
- Working on food distribution day
- Serving or cleaning up in the soup kitchen
- Helping with office tasks
- Lending a hand with special projects and events
- Aiding in fundraising efforts
Some activities are best suited to single volunteers or a pair; we ask that any large group with an interest in volunteering please contact the Center with specific information about participant ages, numbers, and available dates. Choosing a date, time, and program or programs with space for everyone is essential!
If your organization or group is interested in coordinating a food drive, clothing drive, or other cooperative effort, please let us know! We appreciate every effort made in the community to increase awareness of people in need, and those who work to help provide.
When can I help?
Prince of Peace Center is open for business between the hours of 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Unfortunately, we do not have volunteer opportunities available on weekends on a regular basis.
Our consistent, standard volunteer options are:
- Food Day On the third Thursday of every month, 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM or 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Early shift volunteers are welcome to join us for lunch at 12:30; the morning shift is also the one most often in need of hands. There is a great deal of direct interaction with the people we serve.
- Soup Kitchen Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00 to 5:00 PM. Individual volunteers may be asked to assist with dining room set-up, serving the meal, or cleaning up.
- Sorting or stocking in the Thrift Store Any business day, but especially the third Friday of the month (the day after $2.00 Bag Day). Clothing donated by generous people in the community needs to be sorted, placed on hangers, and hung on the sale racks in the store.
- Senior Food Bagging Before Food Day, we need able-bodied volunteers to pack the bags we distribute to the persons on our food list who cannot come to the Center themselves. Best for groups of five to eight people. Please call or e-mail to schedule a time, as our Food Services Coordinator needs advance notice to have everything ready for packing.
Some seasonal activities, events, and opportunities include:
- Christmas Toy Day Volunteers assist parents on our Food List in select ingnew toys for their children to open on Christmas Day. Usually the week before the holiday.
- Bowl-A-Thon The Bowl-A-Thon happens once a year and is an excellent chance to spend a fun Sunday with other people who share a love for Prince of Peace Center! We need bowlers, volunteers to coordinate other aspects of the day, sponsors, and fundraising assistants.
- Summer Block Party The Center invites the entire neighborhood for a celebration of summer! We need volunteers to help with our various activities that day: bouncy castle, slip ‘n’ slide, popcorn, and just having fun with the kids.
- PoPC newsletter distributions About 4 times a year, the Center sends out a larger, more in-depth newsletter containing updates on Center events and programs. These often need to be folded and labeled before mailing; it’s a great low-key and quiet activity that goes much faster with a lot of hands!
The drive to give and serve is something we respect greatly; our goal in regard to this is to provide as many chances as possible for those in our community with this drive to join us in carrying out our mission.
Where do I start?
You can start by filling out our online volunteer application! On your first visit to the Center as a volunteer, you will also need to complete a paper copy that includes our Occasional Volunteer Policy agreement.