Special info about Thanksgiving Food Basket Volunteering!
We’re THANKFUL for our volunteers! Especially those who take time out of their busy schedules to volunteer for our Thanksgiving basket distribution event on Sat. Nov. 19th! We’re grateful that they choose to honor the meaning of Thanksgiving by making it possible for 1,200 families to sit down to a beautiful holiday meal for faith, family and fellowship. If you are not a member of the regular Catholic Charities volunteer program (having gone through a background check) please click here to complete a volunteer application form to register for the event, or click here to complete a form on behalf of a group that would like to volunteer together for the distribution day. If you are already a member of our regular volunteer program, please email Lisa at LLaughrey@cctulsa.org to sign up for this event.
NEW THIS YEAR! Due to VIRTUS and safety requirements, most of our regular volunteer positions are not suitable for children under the age of 10. Please click here to learn more about the family volunteer program. Then click here to complete a request for family volunteer opportunities. Upon receiving your request, you will be emailed a list of current volunteer options and opportunities so that you may decide which position is the best fit for your family.
“True charity involves putting personal comfort aside and making a simple act of service into an act of the heart: a gift for Jesus.” By Bishop William Curlin
We believe strongly in our mission to “be Christ’s merciful love to those who suffer,” and we are eternally grateful to our volunteers for making our mission a reality for over 60,000 people in our community.
Catholic Charities reaches a wide spectrum of people, and the need for volunteers is great. We have more than 15 specific areas of service, along with special events that occur throughout the year.
We help those in need without regard to religion, race or country of origin. We value all human life, and we treat each person we serve with respect and dignity.
The Church teaches us this through Catholic Social Teaching. Click here to read the seven basic themes of Catholic Social Teaching and to better understand why we do what we do.
Do I need to be Catholic to Volunteer?
The answer is NO. Like those we serve, we encourage volunteers of any religion, race and/or country of origin. Less than 10% of those we serve are Catholic, and likewise there are many non-Catholics who volunteer their time and talent. Many of our volunteers have been touched in some way by Catholic Charities and have now chosen volunteering as a way to give back.
How do I apply to volunteer at Catholic Charities?
Step 1: Ask yourself these questions to determine which of our volunteer programs and opportunities are the best fit for you.
Why would you like to volunteer? If your answer is:
to give back to others or to serve our neighbors in need. You are our favorite kind of volunteer! Please proceed.
because you have some free time on your hands and you’d like to give your skill set some practice (or perhaps to learn a new skill). We are excited to have you! Please proceed.
because your school is requiring a certain number of service hours, we would love to serve you; but click here to learn more about our student volunteer program as the requirements are different than our regular program.
because you need to complete court ordered community service. Unfortunately, we regret that we are unable to accommodate you at this time.
because you would like to volunteer with a group, we would be thrilled to schedule your group. Please click here to learn more about our group service project program.
because you are a job coach or caretaker for someone with special needs who would benefit from social interaction and learning new skills. We strive to make ourselves accessible to as many people as possible which is why we developed the rising star volunteer program to accommodate the differently abled people who would still like to give back to their community. All individuals with special needs must be accompanied by their chaperone (job coach, caretaker, etc.) during their volunteer shift. Both the individual (if over 18) and the chaperone must complete the background check process; and the chaperone and individual (if possible) must complete the VIRTUS training before beginning. Click here to learn more about VIRTUS. In lieu of attending the volunteer orientation, these pairs of volunteers will be interviewed to determine appropriate volunteer positions that may be completed by the individual with special needs. These volunteers must also commit to a minimum of one year with at least 48 service hours per year, and be at least 10 years of age. Please click here for the rising star application form to be completed for the individual. Please click here for the regular adult volunteer application form to be completed for the chaperone.
because you are a family with small children who are interested in helping others, and you would like to volunteer as a family. We love that! We absolutely encourage families to volunteer together that may instill a love of volunteering with the importance of helping those less fortunate from an early age. Due to VIRTUS and safety regulations, most of our regular volunteer positions are not suitable for children under the age of 10. Please click here to learn more about the family volunteer program. Then click here to complete a request for family volunteer opportunities. Upon receiving your request, you will be emailed a list of current volunteer options and opportunities so that you may decide which position is the best fit for your family.
What kind of commitment are you ready for? If you answered:
This is important to me and I’m ready to make a serious commitment. Due to the administrative costs of running each person’s background check and the personnel time spent on orientations, on-boarding, training, and ongoing communication; the minimum commitment for our regular volunteer program and rising star program is a service of one year, completing at least 48 hours per year. That equates to a minimum of one 4 hour shift per month. It is important for our regular volunteers to commit to a recurring shift each month in order to be kept up to date on all relevant information and processes. A benefit of joining this program is the ability to volunteer in just about any of our programs. For the regular adult volunteer application form, please click here. Upon receiving your application, the volunteer office will email you a list of upcoming volunteer orientations. You must attend an orientation to hear the list of current volunteer opportunities and to determine the best fit for you and your schedule. To participate in this program, you must be at least 10 years of age or older.
I’m really busy, so I’m just looking to volunteer once or twice. No problem. We’re happy to accommodate you; however, episodic volunteers are limited to our Emergency Assistance department meaning the food pantry, clothing center, and warehouse. Although you do not require a background check, you still must complete the guest volunteer application and register through the volunteer office to reserve your spot for the shift you desire. For the guest volunteer application form, please click here. The volunteer office will contact you within 2 weeks to get you on the schedule. To participate in this program, you must be at least 10 years of age or older. If you are interested in a one-time group service project, please click here to learn more about our service project program.
I just need to complete the required number of service hours for my school or organization. As long as it isn’t for court ordered community service, we are happy to accommodate provided you can commit to the student volunteer program’s minimum commitment of at least 40 service hours within 12 months. This is in exchange for the amount of time, money and training we invest in each student volunteer. We strive for our student volunteers to learn life lessons in accountability, dependability, job skills, responsibility, and caring about others. Please click here for the student application form. Please note that all volunteers over the age of 16 will be required to complete the VIRTUS training. For more information about VIRTUS please click To participate in this program, you must be at least 10 years of age or older.
I’m only interested in helping with special events like Cooking Up Compassion, Thanksgiving baskets, Christmas baskets, etc.
If you only wish to be added to a contact list to receive the list of volunteer opportunities for a specific event; but not become a regular recurring volunteer, please complete the form for each event you are interested in.
For Cooking Up Compassion, please click here.
For Thanksgiving & Christmas baskets, please click here. Once we receive your application, you will be contacted with further instructions about the schedule of the event. If you are interested in registering your group to volunteer together for Thanksgiving or Christmas basket distribution days, please click here to complete the group service project application form.
Step 2: Fill out the correct volunteer application for the program you’ve chosen.
The following have long-term time commitments:
The following have no minimum time commitments:
Step 3: Wait for an email from the volunteer office with further instructions.
The next step for applicants of the regular recurring volunteer program will be to attend a volunteer orientation. These are held four (4) times a month; and are held on Wednesdays during the afternoon and in the evening. During this session, you will be taken on a tour of the campus. The different programs and departments will be explained, and the various volunteer opportunities will be discussed. We will also give an orientation to those volunteering at Catholic Charities, and the responsibilities and requirements of a volunteer will be discussed. At the end of the session; we will clarify your application information – so that a background check may be performed to ensure the safety of our volunteers, staff and clients – and also to discuss individually what program/department you might volunteer in. Once we’ve received your application, you will receive an email with a link to the list of upcoming volunteer orientations, so that you can reserve your spot.
The next step for students will be to provide the volunteer office with copies of the parameters of your service hour/project requirements. Please include the minimum number of hours and any pertinent information such as: “must be supervised by a LCSW, or must be completed in the Education department, etc.” Once we’ve received your application, you will receive an email from the volunteer office asking for your paperwork. The next step is dependent upon the parameters of your situation; but may include setting up an interview with the supervisor of a certain area, or working with you to determine your schedule and first day.
The next step for rising star applicants will be to meet with their potential Catholic Charities supervisor. Once we’ve received the application AND the application of the chaperone, you will be contacted to set up the best time for both of you to interview with the supervisor. Oftentimes, the supervisor will offer the rising star a variety of job tasks in order to perform a skills assessment to determine the appropriate volunteer opportunity.
The next step for a guest volunteer applicant will be to wait to be contacted. Due to the high volume of guest volunteer requests, response times from the volunteer office can take up to two weeks. For VIRTUS and safety reasons, each volunteer must be scheduled; and availability is dependent upon the ongoing schedule of the regular recurring volunteers as well as one time visits from service groups. Please plan ahead, and we ask that you refrain from contacting the volunteer office needing to volunteer the same day or next day, etc. because they simply won’t be able to process your paperwork that quickly. Thank you for understanding the cause of our protocols and respecting their boundaries.
The next step for a group service project request is to wait to be contacted. Due to the high volume of service project requests, please plan ahead and submit your request at least 2 months in advance. We understand that some service projects must be completed on certain pre-set days. However, please be advised that groups that have flexibility in scheduling their project are almost always accepted. It is most helpful for groups with pre-set days to submit their service project requests at least 3-4 months in advance to ensure the best odds of us receiving a well-planned project in order to accommodate the size of your group and the duration of your visit. This is to ensure that everyone has a wonderful volunteer experience.
The next step for applicants interested in helping with our Cooking Up Compassion and Thanksgiving & Christmas basket events is to wait to be contacted. Once we’ve received your application, we will save your information until it becomes closer to the event date. If you’re applying months before the events, you will receive an email with volunteer position information 4-6 weeks before the event. Please note that the minimum age requirement is 10 years of age.
Step 4: All regular recurring volunteers for Catholic Charities over the age of 16 are required by the Diocese of Tulsa to complete VIRTUS training. If you have not already completed the child abuse awareness and prevention program training through your parish or employer; then you will need to complete an online “Protecting God’s Children” session after we have notified you that you have passed our background check requirements and have been accepted into the program. If you have already attended a session or completed the online training, please bring us a copy of your certificate, or tell us where and when you attended. If you have not previously completed VIRTUS training, we will forward to you the specific instructions on how to complete the training from home. It consists of a video about two hours long.
If you have further questions, please email Lisa at LLaughrey@cctulsa.org.