“I learned that service in its truest sense is not about only volunteering—but about devoting your life and all your work to Christ and putting all of your heart into all you do each day. This is a completely priceless experience and there are indescribable things to learn from it.”
Long-term Christian Appalachian Project Volunteers make a commitment of 12 months, with an option to apply for additional years. Though we have volunteers of all ages, most of our long-term volunteers are either recent high school or college graduates engaged in post-graduate volunteering, or retirees who want to continue to make a difference in their “encore careers.” Because of the greater time commitment they are making, long-term volunteers are able to take on mission-critical service positions that require someone willing to give the time and energy needed to address Appalachia’s most persistent challenges. CAP typically has two admissions cycles for long-term volunteers, though exceptions are made when one of our programs has an urgent need. Please see our admissions timeline for important dates.
Benefits of Long-term Volunteering
Long-term volunteers receive a multitude of benefits from their service time, including
- Immersion into the communities they are serving
- Intentional Christian community
- Lasting friendships
- Valuable job-related experience
- Two retreats per year, one of which focuses on vocation (i.e. “Life after CAP”)
Even though volunteers receive many intangible benefits, it is important to note that making a long-term commitment can be a significant financial sacrifice. CAP offers the following benefits to long-term volunteers to help make volunteering more affordable:
- Room and board
- Monthly stipend
- Health insurance
- Potential student loan deferment
- Potential AmeriCorps Education Award to repay eligible student loans and/or pay tuition expenses
- Participation in the Volunteers Exploring Vocation program and the opportunity to apply for a $10,000 fellowship for first year seminarians in a Master of Divinity or eligible Masters program oriented toward ministerial leadership (Must be 35 or younger to apply for the fellowship)
**** Important Tax Information**** Any long-term volunteer receiving a stipend or other benefit(s) such as health insurance, room and board, and any other monies that are paid on the volunteer’s behalf by CAP will receive an IRS form 1099 from CAP by January 31 of the following year.
Even though you may not directly receive any money for some of these benefits, they are paid on your behalf by CAP. They will be reported to the IRS as non-employee taxable income. This generally can amount to several hundred dollars or more in income tax and/or social security tax, which is the volunteer’s responsibility to pay. CAP is not able to help with this added tax liability and recommends that all applicants consult a professional tax advisor about the impact this may have on their personal taxes.
To become a long-term CAP Volunteer, you must meet the following requirements:
- Minimum age of 18 years old.
- For positions that require volunteers to drive a CAP vehicle, applicants must be 21 or older with a good driving record. There are a limited number of positions available for non-drivers.
- Complete a volunteer application, including a complete driving records check, three personal references, and a national background check.
- Be personally interviewed by CAP Volunteers staff and at least two service program managers.
- Pass a drug screening upon arrival at CAP.
We are looking for volunteers who are dependable, flexible, mature, self-starting, fast learners, sensitive to other cultures, religions, etc., able to live in community, have a sense of humor, and have a desire to serve others. For many programs, we can teach the particular skills needed to succeed in your service position; what we can’t teach is a compassionate heart and a passion for our mission.
Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about long-term volunteering.
Pillars of CAP Volunteer Life
At Commissioning, long-term volunteers are invited to sign a covenant representing their commitment to our core values of Service, Community, and Spirituality. Follow the links below to learn how each value contributes to the volunteer experience.