Do you want to help victims of crime and their families?
Do you want to assist the imprisoned and their familes?
Do you want to serve those working in law enforcement, the legal profession and corrections?
Do you want to be a police chaplain?
Do you want to advocate for reform of the criminal justice system?
You Have What It Takes To Make a Difference!
You Are Needed!
Everyone has different talents -- but we need them all to provide comprehensive services to those who have been harmed by crime. Here are some things that volunteers at Catholic Restorative Justice Ministries do:
Provide comfort to crime survivors and the families of victims of crime.
Visit prisoners and juveniles in detention.
Assist those persons recently released from custody to rejoin society.
Advocate for the reform of the criminal justice system.
Support those who work within the criminal justice system in their efforts to humanely enforce the laws of the community.
Promote principles of restorative justice through education and advocacy.
Raise funds to support the ministry.
Pray with victims, the imprisoned, and their families.
Correspond with those isolated by imprisonment.
Take children to visit their parents in prison.
Provide classes to prisoners about the Bible, or the Church
Support the ministry through technical or secretarial services.
Prepare those in custody for the sacraments of initiation.
Minister to the grieving.
Orient persons recently released from custody about community resources.
Inform persons in need of help about community resources.
Inform the community about the needs of those harmed by crime.
Recruit and train volunteers.
(From The Volunteer Center of Sonoma County)
Gain Experience: working in the field or a position that has transferable skills will help you become more experienced when you are looking for that job.
Resume Building: add volunteering to your resume. Businesses, either for or not for profit, want to see you that you’ve been busy, so show them how you took the initiative to volunteer at a local nonprofit and be specific of what you did. Being the leader or creating a new and helpful tool will prove to the potential employer that you are an asset to their organization.
Gain New Skills: work experience is invaluable; there are some things you can’t learn in school. So by volunteering, you are in a new environment, observing people in their jobs and hopefully you are given tasks that challenge you. If not, ask!
Try It On: try something you are interested in. This way, if you don’t like it, you’ll know before you take classes or apply for the job and then realize it’s not what you want to do as a career.
Meet People: not only do you get to gain experience, but you meet people who can be a potential reference when your job hunting if you made the right impression, or they may recommend a place to apply. Let them know you are looking and ask for them to be on your list of references, after you’ve shown them what you can do!
Potential Job: This may lead to a job. Nonprofits make up a large percentage of organizations in Sonoma County, and therefore many jobs are found there. Prove what you can do, and they may find funding to keep you.
Job Hunting 101-See every step as a practice for when you job hunt. From the initial conversation on the phone when you introduce yourself, to the showing up on the scheduled time to volunteer, this is like a job and a good time to practice how you present yourself and are seen. Take it all as a learning opportunity.
Thinking of College?: College applications ask for community service. But since it’s getting more competitive, not only do you show your volunteer time, but you need to stand out by taking a leadership role or again, creating something new that addresses a need in the community.
Feel Great About Making A Difference!: Lastly, but more importantly, volunteering leads you to find the joy of serving others and helping to improve our local community. Make a difference, meet people, gain new skills, and add a whole new experience awaits you-Volunteer!