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 (or a living allowance), health insurance, and limited travel reimbursement. Any of the following long-term positions are eligible as AmeriCorps service positions with the additional benefits of a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. CAP welcomes long-term (one year) volunteers and AmeriCorps members in January and August. Our preference is for volunteers to begin in August, but the January start date is offered for individuals with alternative availability. For more information, see our admissions process.
Service placements include education, hunger and poverty relief, and volunteer hospitality.
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 teach reasoning, communication, and creative expression while promoting children's social, physical, and emotional development.
Camp Educator/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 as well as 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.
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.
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.
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. In some instances, this will include referrals to 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. 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, and independence.
Thrift Store Associate: Volunteers sort donations, steam clothing, help keep the store clean and organized, and perform retail functions.
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: Shops, cooks, and plans meals for groups serving out of the Foley Mission Center, including during WorkFest and YouthFest.
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, orients them to CAP and the Mission Center, facilitates evening activities, takes job-site pictures, produces a slideshow for the group to take home, and leads the group closing program on Thursday.
Application and Admissions Process
We are looking for volunteers who are dependable, flexible, mature, self-starting, fast learners, compassionate, open to diverse faith expressions, and desiring 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.
The Christian Appalachian Project Volunteer Program is animated by three pillars: Service, Community, and Spirituality. Although all CAP volunteers are invited to engage these pillars, long-term and short-term volunteers make a special commitment to living these values throughout their service term.
Volunteers serve in programs that work in conjunction with one another to bring timely assistance to people in need and strengthen struggling communities. We call the individuals and families we serve “participants” rather than clients–all who receive services from CAP are also full participants in the mission through program involvement, volunteering, or monetary payback for building materials or other services received. Appalachia is a region of many assets, and our programs seek to respect and promote the dignity and self-worth of all involved.
We believe that service cannot be performed in isolation–volunteers must engage with each other, with the larger CAP community of employees, and with participants, as well as the broader local community. Our hope is that in a small way, our volunteer communities serve as a microcosm for the larger Body of Christ, challenging people from diverse backgrounds and experiences to support one another and grow together.
Christian Appalachian Project is interdenominational, meaning that we do not ask volunteers to check their individual faith traditions and beliefs at the door. We do not require volunteers to be Christian, but invite each volunteer to make a commitment to spirituality during their service with CAP. Most CAP volunteers feel called to service because of their faith, and are seeking a community in which they can grow in faith while serving others.
Many volunteers find that independent small groups and Bible studies within one or several volunteer communities enhances their volunteer experience, though these extra activities are not required.