“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.”

—CAP Volunteer

Long-term Christian Appalachian Project volunteers make a commitment of one year to our program pillars of Service, Community, and Spirituality, with an option to apply for an additional year. Long-term volunteers are eligible to receive a modest stipend, room and board, health insurance, time off, limited travel reimbursement, and potential student loan deferment of federal loans. CAP typically welcomes long-term volunteers in January, May, and August, though exceptions are made when one of our programs has an urgent need. To learn more about our current long-term volunteers, read our volunteer profiles.

Service Placements


Early Childhood Educator: Early Childhood Educators serve preschoolers ages 3-4 in one of two Child and Family Development centers operated by CAP. Child development programs include teaching reasoning, communication, social, physical, and emotional development as well as creative expression.

Camp Educators/Summer Camp Counselor: These volunteers are based out of CAP’s Camp Shawnee and Camp Andrew Jackson. Educators serve in elementary and middle schools during the academic year to implement a practical living curriculum and tutor reading and other academic subjects. Volunteers also plan teen retreats at the camp and other events in the community, help camp staff maintain the facilities, and recruit campers in the schools and community. When summer camp is in session, volunteers will serve as camp counselors or other camp staff.

Youth Worker: As a component of CAP’s Child and Family Development program, S.P.A.R.K. (Scholastic Preparation, Arts, and Recreation for Kids) serves children ages 5-18. The Youth Worker designs presentations and activities to engage students in academics, the arts, and recreational activities, and assists children and teens with homework in all subject areas. In the summer, the Youth Worker leads activities such as field trips or day camps.

Hunger and Poverty Relief

Home Repair Crew Members/Team Leader: Substandard housing is the most visible sign of poverty in Appalachia. Home Repair Crew Members serve in teams of 2-3 and assist the employee or volunteer crew leader in home repairs and new construction.

Food Pantry Caseworker: Caseworkers serve in teams with other CAP Volunteers, employees, participants, and volunteers from the local community to serve the walk-in food need of families and organize monthly government commodities distributions to the elderly. Caseworkers also pick up food donations from local food banks and businesses and help to unload and organize food shipments.

Elderly Services Caseworker: CAP’s Elderly Services caseworkers help seniors without other sources of support access the services, medical care, and human connection that would otherwise be absent. By providing services such as home visitation, transportation, and social activities, caseworkers ease the effects of rural isolation and allow homebound seniors citizens to remain in their homes longer.

Family Advocacy Caseworker: Caseworkers provide short-term emergency assistance, including  food, utility assistance, household goods, and clothing. Family Advocacy caseworkers are often a participant’s first contact with CAP—they assess the needs, provide any necessary short-term assistance, and make appropriate referrals to other CAP programs or community agencies.  Caseworkers also help to organize seasonal school, Christmas, and garden programs, as well as annual Women’s Retreat.

Family Advocacy/Housing Caseworker: In addition to the responsibilities above, this volunteer takes applications for CAP’s Housing program.

In-Home Respite Assistant:  Provides respite services in the family’s home/community to children/adults/elderly who are developmentally, physically, and/or mentally challenged including Alzheimer’s, stroke victims, etc. Will be responsible for providing daily care to participants according to specific training and participants’ individualized care needs, including bathing, feeding, nurturing and implementing activities that encourage recreation, socialization, independence, and spirituality.

Thrift Store Associate: Volunteers sort donations, steam clothing, help keep the store clean and organized, and perform retail functions.

Volunteer Hospitality

Mission Group Facilitator: The Groups facilitator serves with church and college groups who serve with CAP for a week. Facilitators plan and prepare meals for groups, and may provide orientation to CAP.

Foley Mission Center Cook/Food Service Coordinator: Meal plans, shops, and cooks for groups serving out of the Foley Mission Center, including during WorkFest and YouthFest. During non-group season, this volunteer may have the opportunity to serve in other CAP programs.

Foley Mission Center Groups Facilitator/Housekeeper: Acts as a liaison between the volunteer group and CAP’s Groups program. The Host welcomes groups on Sunday and orients them to CAP and the Mission Center, facilitates evening activities, takes jobsite pictures and produces a slideshow for the group to take home, and leads the group closing program on Thursday. Although cooking is not the primary responsibility of this volunteer, the position may occasionally require assisting the FMC Cook. This volunteer will also play a significant role in assisting with the hosting of college and high school alternative spring break groups during March and April. During non-group season, this volunteer may have the opportunity to serve in other CAP programs.

Application and Admissions Process

We are looking for volunteers who are dependable, flexible, mature, self-starting, fast learners, compassionate toward the poor and marginalized, open to diverse faith expressions, and have a desire to serve others.

Prospective long-term volunteers must complete an application, criminal background check, and personal interview. Admitted volunteers must complete a drug screening upon arrival. See our admissions timeline for more information.

Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about long-term volunteering.

Learn more about our Program Pillars.