El Zócalo's Volunteer Opportunities -

Hello! PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT INTRODUCTORY INFORMATION TO VOLUNTEERING WITH EL ZOCALO!:

After a brief pause in accepting volunteers, we are happy to reopen volunteer opportunities for community members to engage directly with our work. In the past, volunteers have been crucial in making El Zócalo's work and mission of promoting a dignified life for immigrants in Arkansas possible. In addition to serving in program and operational support roles, volunteers' service often builds bridges between those we serve and the greater public.

Below you'll find list of open, available opportunities. We ask that volunteers complete this application to let us know more about you and your interests in volunteering.

We also want prospective volunteers to be aware of some of the specifics of our volunteer program that reflects the ways we're found work best to build a mutually beneficial volunteer experience.

1.) Commitment - Our positions are designed to involve a seasonal commitment to volunteering. We are currently looking to place volunteers from September - December in weekly or twice-monthly positions, largely occurring during evenings and weekends. There will be opportunities to check in with our team along the way, and it will be very important to communicate any unanticipated changes in your ability to volunteer as far in advance as possible.

2.) Support Roles - We also want to ensure the understanding that volunteers are placed in supporting roles, to support our overall programs, services, and operations. Currently, the roles of running our programs and services, such as teaching English, providing case management and social services to clients are carried out by staff and interns, because we've found these roles to require a much larger commitment of time and training than what volunteers can usually commit to. If you do have specific direct service skills, please do let us know to keep that in mind for the future. Also, if you are interested in an internship (requires 8-10 hours of service a week for a semester), please let us know: team@zocalocenter.org.

3.) Language - We have a variety of volunteer roles open to those who speak little-no Spanish, however some of our positions do require Spanish. We ask that you assess your Spanish-level and select volunteer positions you are interested in accordingly. If you are in the process of learning Spanish, there are places in this form to explain where you are in the process so we can place accordingly.

4.) Screening - Because of the vulnerability of the population we serve, screening volunteers is an especially important step. To make volunteering accessible to all, reference checks serve as an essential tool for this. Please be sure to fully complete the screening section.
Name/Nombre: *
Email Address *
Phone Number *
Current Volunteer Positions
Please describe the position or positions you are most drawn to and why? If you checked more than one, let us know if you want to serve in multiple positions or just one position but have flexibility on where you're placed.
Please describe your level of Spanish-language skills?
Clear selection
(Optional) provide any additional information on your level of Spanish or English (if a non-native speaker)
Specific or Technical Skills & Expertise (Optional):
Please describe any specific or technical skills or expertise and describe your interest in offering this in service to El Zócalo. May include graphic design, non-profit capacity building consulting, legal expertise, mental health or social work or other.
Comments:
NEW VOLUNTEERS
Filling out the following questions will help us get a better idea of you and your interests for volunteer placement.
Why you are interested in volunteering with El Zócalo?
Please describe any further details on the amount of time that you could commit and your general time availability.
Screening
References
Please provide 2-3 personal or professional references. Please include name, phone number, email and how you know them. We want to double check that volunteers are trustworthy and reliable. Friends, colleagues or teachers who have previously volunteered, collaborated with, or supported El Zócalo make great references.
Please check here, acknowledging that El Zocalo may do an online search to identify any public record of criminal history.
Clear selection
Please provide your date of birth to aid in the search mentioned above.
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Background Checks
Some positions may require a criminal background check, however we will discuss this with you in advance.
Volunteer Orientation
A volunteer orientation may be scheduled, as well as providing training and orientation during the volunteer shift. We will be in touch!
Frequently Asked Questions - Please note some of the volunteer activities referred to may be on pause, but you may still find some relevant information here!
Can I practice Spanish by volunteering with El Zócalo? Absolutely! However please do offer an honest assessment of your Spanish level so we can place you in a role where both you and clients will be comfortable communicating.

Do I have to speak Spanish to volunteer with El Zócalo? No, several volunteer positions do not require it, especially with the children's program and food pantry.

Can I organize a volunteer group for a service project? Generally no, our operations are designed to work with families and small groups and we often don't have the capacity to coordinate larger volunteer groups. It also works best to have a smaller number of volunteers working in a committed nature and building relationships than a one-time thing.

Can I bring my children with me while I volunteer? Volunteers are welcome to bring their children when childcare is offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Sundays. Please do let us know in advance to confirm the childcare service is available. Children may volunteer along side their parents in some cases, please discuss with us first!

Can I come by the center and meet with you before volunteering? We prefer to use this form as an introduction that opens the doors to communication and questions. Checking out our website and Facebook page is also a great way to learn more about our work. Generally volunteer positions will include time at the beginning to get oriented and ask questions. Let's start here and if there are any special circumstances we can make time for talking in more depth.

Can I donate items to El Zócalo? Please check first, but we often accept donations of gently used clothing for men, women and children, small household items, toys and basic educational and office supplies. You can bring them with you if your volunteer position is at our space.

Can I do an internship with El Zócalo? El Zócalo offers internships through an application process and places interns at the beginning of the spring, fall and sometimes summer semesters. We generally prefer interns to have a formal contract through their school, but sometimes take interns without this. We create a formal application prior to each semester and link it to this form. Feel free to email us for more questions in-between.

Can I receive school credit for volunteering? Yes, if you apply and are selected for an internship.

Can I receive service hours? Yes, please let us know, preferably in advance, that you will need someone to sign off on your hours. You are responsible for bringing any materials that we need to fill out.

Can I volunteer in other ways than the ones mentioned? Currently, the opportunities listed above are the volunteer openings we are looking to fill. If you have other skills you are interested in offering, please describe them in the Specific Skills section. We will gladly make note of your interest in this for the future, but may not be able to put your specialized skills into action right away.

Are you a 501c3 non-profit organization? Yes

Can I volunteer if I am a minor? We are generally open to receiving volunteers age 15 and up. It is preferred that younger volunteers are accompanied by a relative, teacher or friend.
Any other questions or comments?
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