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City Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. How does the city define a volunteer?
2. What is the city's policy on volunteering and volunteer involvement?
3. What are some tips to help get me started as a volunteer?
4. Is volunteering a two-way street?
5. What type of screening practices are in place?
6. Where do I find information on community based volunteering?

1. How does the city define a volunteer? 

• A person who chooses to share their time, skills and knowledge to enhance the quality of life in their community without the expectation of recompense.
• A volunteer performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of the city of St. Petersburg
• A volunteer must complete an application form and be officially accepted by the branch prior to performance of the task.

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2. What is the city's policy on volunteering and volunteer involvement?

The city of St. Petersburg’s volunteerism policy states that volunteerism:
• Promotes citizen involvement, social and civic responsibility, and civic pride. 
• Contributes to healthy communities and a vibrant St. Petersburg. 
• Improves’ quality of life.
   As a result, the city will:
• Support volunteers and volunteerism in St. Petersburg. 
• Provide positive, meaningful volunteer experiences for individuals who volunteer with the city by adopting the ICAN “Involved Citizens Active in Neighborhoods" as its standard for the city's volunteer management systems. 
• Encourage all corporations in St. Petersburg, including the city of St. Petersburg, to support volunteerism. 
• Work with voluntary community groups in order to strengthen and recognize volunteerism in St. Petersburg.

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3. What are some tips to help get me started as a volunteer?

If you are interested in a new volunteer position, but aren't sure where to begin, try asking yourself the following questions to determine what kind of volunteer opportunities will be best suited to you:
• If you had all the human and financial resources in the world, what problem would you solve, what would you change, or what would you create? Your answer will tell you what matters the most to you. 
• What kind of time commitment are you willing to make? Are you looking for a regular/weekly volunteer commitment or a short-term/one-time opportunity? 
• Would you like to volunteer with other people or by yourself? 
• Would you like to volunteer from your own home or would you prefer to volunteer at an organization?
• If you would like to volunteer away from home, where is the best location for you? Near your home, your work, your child's day care? 
• Do you have specific skills or talents you would like to share with an organization? 
• Would you like to develop a specific skill? 
• What are your personal goals? Would you like to re-enter the workforce? Meet new people?

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4. Is volunteering a two-way street?

Volunteering is a two-way street. Not only do the recipients of voluntary action benefit, but so too, do the volunteers. 
• Volunteering provides a satisfying outlet for people’s talents, ambitions, and concerns in ways that are different from their daily responsibilities.
• The importance of volunteers to the city of St. Petersburg is obvious. Our volunteers affect the success of many initiatives including numerous events, parks programs, seniors centers, public programs, and the storm water initiatives to name a few.
• The benefit that volunteers themselves derive from their volunteer activity is not so commonly recognized. 
• The primary motivation for volunteers is to reach out and help their communities, but in doing so, they also fulfill their own unmet needs. In the recent years volunteers indicate they value volunteer work as an important element in their lives that allows them to use their skills and interact with other volunteers.

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5. What type of screening practices are in place?

• The city of St. Petersburg has adopted a variety of screening practices to ensure that volunteers, staff, and program participants enjoy and safe and healthy environment. 
• The level of screening required is based on job design and dependent on the positions' interaction with vulnerable populations, and a variety of other factors. 
• Standard screening practice includes risk assessments, position descriptions, application forms, interviews, reference checks, police information checks, orientation and training sessions. 
• Email for additional information.

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6. Where do I find information on community based volunteering?

Visit City of St. Petersburg ICAN or call 727-892-5141.


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