We are truly grateful for the creativity, talent, energy and dedication of our volunteers. It is our hope that each volunteer benefits in their own way from their experience.
Grief Group Volunteers
Grief support group volunteers work with the children, teen and adult support groups. Some regular duties of support group volunteers are:
- Participating in check-in and discussion, serving as a model for appropriate behavior in the group setting
- Assisting children with art, craft, writing, and play activities designed to access and process feelings
- Interacting with children through play
- Actively listening to children when they share in discussion settings and one-on-one interactions
- Selected volunteers will facilitate discussion in adult caregiver groups
- Am I expected to run the group?
- No! Our paid staff member – the Group Coordinator – guides the group, plans activities, and directs volunteers. You are simply there for support.
- How is just being a support helpful?
- Children and adults in our groups are often coping with so much after the death of a family member that simply being heard in a safe space is greatly appreciated. It’s an easy way to make a big difference for someone in need.
- Do I need a background working with children or in psychology or healthcare to do this?
- Our volunteers come from all walks of life. Some have experience working with kids, but others just know what it’s like to go through grief. You do not need any specific experience to do this work, although enjoying the presence of children is helpful. Remember, we are not here to “fix” or “treat” grief; we are simply providing a safe space to gather with others to talk about it.
- How old do I have to be to volunteer?
- All grief support group volunteers must be at least 18 and able to pass a criminal background check.
- Can I choose which age group or group night I am assigned to?
- We will ask your preferences before training and do our best to place you in a group where you will be most successful and enjoy your experience, as long as there are no conflicts of interest (for example a family member in the group).
- Can I volunteer if I was a grief support group participant at The Sharing Place?
- Yes, as long as you have been closed from your group for at least one year before training and meet all other requirements.
- We ask for a minimum 10-month volunteer commitment to provide continuity within the grief support groups.
- You can plan around your volunteer commitment. It’s always the same day of the week, every other week, for 3 hours in the evening. For example, every other Monday evening or every other Thursday evening.
- We do have preschool groups available on Tuesday mornings if you are free to volunteer during the day.
- Volunteers are expected to attend pre-group and post-group meetings each session. The group sessions last about 1.5 hours, which adds up to about 3 hours with pre- and post-meeting. This allows volunteers to be present in their groups and discuss any emotionally heavy feelings before heading home from group.
- Volunteers and the group coordinator take turns providing dinner or breakfast for their group volunteers (8-12 adults) during pre-meeting throughout the year, so that we can all make our three-hour commitment without interruption.
- Training is offered twice a year, typically in January and August.
- Training is a full day on a Saturday for your convenience and respect for your time. We provide meals during the day.
- Advanced registration for training is required. A $50 non-refundable fee is required with your registration.
- Our professional, highly-respected staff present on child development, psychology of grief, and how groups are conducted.
- Following the required training and review, each volunteer is placed in a group according to their availability and our needs.
- For the safety and security of those we serve, and as required by law, volunteers must successfully complete a background check before assisting with a grief support group.
- Based on feedback, we will occasionally offer supplemental trainings on additional Saturdays. These are optional to attend.