Volunteers are what make Self Help work. Because our dedicated team of volunteers donates over 2000 hours of their time each year, Self Help can keep overhead low and direct funds where they’re most needed–helping people in need.
Intake is Self Help’s most-needed, highest-impact volunteer job. Intake volunteers call prospective clients (people in need who have reached out for help) and input their information into our form. They listen to clients’ stories, provide referrals, follow up for more information, and tell clients about how our process works. They also call clients back to let them know that we’ve made a payment or otherwise provided them assistance, which can be a wonderful and moving conversation. Even just listening to someone tell you their story can be an act of service; the crises our clients face are intensely isolating, and often they are grateful just for the rare opportunity to discuss their situation openly with a sympathetic ear. Intake volunteering is challenging, requiring strong boundaries and self-care. However, being on the front lines of helping people in need is also very rewarding. No social work experience is needed; just interpersonal skills. This job can be done remotely with just a computer and a phone, or in-office–whichever you prefer. We do thoroughly train each intake volunteer; for this reason, we request prospective intake volunteers be able to commit a few hours most weeks for at least a few months. Please note that this volunteer position requires a light background check and cannot be used to fulfill a court-mandated community service requirement.
Self Help is undergoing several infrastructure projects and can always use helping hands who are comfortable using a computer. Possible tasks include database installation, IT troubleshooting, and data entry. If you have a specialty in a technology-related field and want to lend us your skills, we’d be glad to have you! This job can be done remotely or in-office–whichever works best. In most cases, this volunteer position unfortunately cannot be used to fulfill a court-mandated community service requirement.
Self Help partners with the Salvation Army to raise funds for our assistance in Los Alamos County each year via the holiday bell-ringing fundraiser. Volunteers ring the bell at local grocery stores to raise funds–that’s it! This is a very easy, low-commitment, low-barrier-to-entry way to make a difference, and we welcome all comers. More information is available here.
We are always open to meeting with people who are highly motivated by our mission and are interested in joining our board. Our board is a working board, with a monthly 90-minute board meeting as well as committee service on tasks such as fundraising, marketing, and event planning. We are particularly recruiting members of marginalized communities and diverse geographic regions outside Los Alamos County; if either description applies to you, we especially encourage you to reach out.
SELF HELP HISTORY PROJECT
Having served our neighbors for over half a century, Self Help has accrued a lot of history, and we’re starting a project to learn more about it. If you like history or just want to lend a hand, there are many ways to help out, from organizing archives, to conducting interviews, to writing narratives. Anyone can help out!
SEED GRANT COMMITTEE
Our seed grant committee is a mix of board members, staff, and community volunteers. The committee reviews applications to our seed money program, follows up with applicants for more information, and takes a final vote on whether to approve the application. We are especially interested in recruiting business owners, or other community members with entrepreneurial expertise.
Self Help periodically has other volunteer needs on an ad-hoc basis. Such needs might include event support, lending a specific skill such as strategic planning or legal knowledge, or manning a table for an outreach event. If you want to get involved in another way than those listed above, we’re always happy to see how you can help!