Volunteer FAQs

Becoming a Volunteer:

How do I become a volunteer?
All volunteers are required to complete our online application process before volunteering onsite at our facility. This includes an application, background check, and orientation. Once all three steps of the process are completed, you will receive a welcome email, pin number, and the ability to sign-up for various opportunities through our online Volunteer Information Center (VIC). For more information, or to begin the application please visit the volunteer section of our website.

When are volunteer orientations held, and how do I sign up?
Volunteer orientations are held three times per month at The Light House on the:
1st Saturday: 9-10am   • 2nd Friday: 9-10am   • 3rd Wednesday:  7-8pm
Sign-up for an orientation date when filling out your volunteer application.

How old do you have to be to volunteer at the Light House?
Anyone age 18 or older is welcome to volunteer independently.

Can I still volunteer if I am younger than 18?
Children ages 11-17 may volunteer when accompanied by an adult. Adult needs to have completed the volunteer application and must accompany the child at all times.

I am bringing a group or my children. Do we all need to fill out volunteer applications?
No, only the team lead or parent needs to complete the application process.

Do all volunteer opportunities require an application or background check?
All on-site volunteer opportunities do require a background check, but our off-site opportunities do not. Making bagged lunches or holding a food/donation drive are volunteer opportunities that do not require completing the application process. See our volunteer opportunities page for more details.

Do you accept court appointed hours?
At this time, we cannot accept court appointed hours for onsite volunteers. However, if you would like to participate in the bagged lunch program or organize a pantry drive, you may do so.

Signing Up For Volunteer Opportunities:

I’m a volunteer now. How do I sign-up?
Once you have completed all the steps to volunteer at The Light House, you will be able to login to our Volunteer Information Center (VIC), where you will be able to sign up for various volunteer opportunities, update your profile, and track your volunteer hours.
Click here for directions on how to use our Volunteer Information Center.

I signed up, but something has come up. How do I remove myself from a volunteer opportunity?
If it is a week or more in advance, you can click on the day you are scheduled to volunteer and select the ‘remove me’ option next to the opportunity. If it is less than a week before your scheduled date, please email to cancel.

Specific Volunteer Opportunities:

Meal Program:

What does it mean to sign-up as a breakfast or dinner volunteer?
The Light House relies on its volunteers to supply, cook, and serve the residents breakfast and dinner 365 days a year. When you sign-up to serve breakfast or dinner, it is your responsibility to purchase the ingredients, plan the meal, and serve it to the residents. This is a great opportunity for families or groups.

What are the responsibilities of a group leader?
In order to sign-up to serve breakfast or dinner at The Light House, each group must have a group leader. The group leader must be a registered volunteer who has completed the volunteer application and orientataion process. If you are the group leader and have not volunteered in our Light House kitchen before, you will need to attend an additional 30 minute meal program training session prior to signing up for a meal shift. This will give you the opportunity to observe the process of how a meal service is run in our Light House kitchen. The meal service orientation is done on the 3rd Saturday of every month and must be scheduled by emailing This additional orientation session will give you information about where everything is locate in the kitchen, the proper process for serving the meals, as well as important health and safety code details which we are required to follow.

How many people can volunteer in the kitchen at a time?
We recommend 5-7 people. We do not suggest bringing more than 7 people because our kitchen is not big enough to accommodate that many volunteers.

What time should breakfast and dinner be served?
Breakfast is served at 7:30am on weekdays and 8:00am on weekends. Dinner is served at 6:00pm daily.

How many residents are we serving?
On weekdays, you will serve 55-60 residents. On weekends, you will serve 30-40 residents.

What should I bring, and how much does it typically cost?
The meal plan is completely up to you. We have seen everything from BBQ to tacos to shepherd’s pie. We recommend a protein, starch, veggies, and dessert. Whatever you decide to bring will determine the cost.

Can I make food ahead of time, or does it all need to be cooked onsite?
You may prepare dishes ahead of time and bring them with you to serve. If they are hot dishes, they will need to be reheated to 160 degrees before serving.

Do you have pots, pans, dishes, cups, silverware, and serving utensils?
We have all of these items, as well as disposable gloves, hairnets, aprons, and cooking spices.

Who cleans up the kitchen once the meal in completed?
Our residents are responsible for clean-up. Once you have stored the food in the walk-in, the residents will come in and complete their chores.

Bagged Lunches:

How do I know if you need bagged lunches, and what goes in them?
We have a sign-up list! Please visit our Volunteer Opportunities page to sign-up. A PDF with instructions on how to complete them is also available on that page. Please note, you must sign-up to receive service hour recognition.

When and where do I drop off the bagged lunches?
The evening before your schedule date by 8:00pm at our 10 Hudson Street location. You can bring them to the main lobby where a Resident Assistant will accept your donation. Please ask for a receipt from the Resident Assistant, as this will confirm your donation. Service hour recognition will not be given without a receipt.

Educational Programs, Childcare, and Pro-Bono Services:

I would like to help with tutoring, gardening, childcare, etc., but I do not see the opportunities on VIC. How do I sign-up?
Childcare, pro-bono services, and program-based opportunities are on an as-needed basis. Since the times, dates, and demand changes with the ebb and flow of our residents, we do not have specific times to sign-up. When there is a need, we will post them in the bi-weekly Volunteer Update or reach out via email.

I am interested in providing a service, event, or educational program for the residents. Who should I reach out to?
Please email, with information on the type of service you would like to offer.