Dominican Volunteers USA places full-time stipend volunteers for 11-month terms of service, beginning August 13th, 2018 and ending July 17, 2019, at various locations throughout the country to work in ministries that promote social justice. Past Dominican Volunteers (DVs) have been teachers in inner-city schools, social workers at community centers, nurses to HIV/AIDS patients, job counselors/developers for refugees, organic farmers and many other roles in social services. Volunteers are at least 21 years old, have no dependents, hold at least a Bachelor’s degree, and have chosen to give a year of their life towards service, with optional 2nd year renewals.
Dominican Volunteers USA is rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the example of St. Dominic de Guzman, who founded the Order of Preachers almost 800 years ago (more commonly known as the Dominicans). In this same spirit, Dominican Volunteers (DVs) live out the 4 pillars of Dominican life: Prayer, Community, Ministry and Study. After beginning their service year at Orientation retreat in August, DVs share spirituality at home, attend a midyear retreat in January, and close the volunteer year with a final retreat in July. DVs typically live in the communities where they serve, most often with Dominican sisters/friars of the Roman Catholic Church and 1-2 other volunteers. Due to DVs’ commitment to their community, evening work hours must be limited and scheduled with community time in mind.
To be a ministry placement site for a DV in the 2018-2019 service year requires a total financial contribution of $15,000 (Note: For congregation/province-sponsored ministries that also provide housing, the cost is $11,000). DVs are on a centralized payroll system administered by DVUSA; this requires that the financial contribution of ministry sites be a flat fee to the organization payable in three installments throughout the year. DVUSA provides the DVs with health insurance, room/board, public transportation passes, and a monthly $100 stipend.
As the economic reality shifts and as our volunteer pool becomes increasingly diverse, many more DVs are choosing to go on DVUSA’s health insurance plan. The current ministry fee does not reflect this increase in cost for DVUSA. DVUSA is discerning if we will need to raise the fee in the future, as the current ministry fee does not cover the program costs. If your ministry site would be able to offer health insurance to the volunteer serving at your organization, this would be a tremendous financial help to DVUSA. Volunteers need coverage from September 1-July 31. If you are willing and able to offer health insurance to your volunteer, please contact one of the Co-Directors to discuss further.
DVUSA has a rolling application process that begins in December. Priority is given to earlier applications for both volunteers and service sites. Beginning as early as January, DVUSA interviews, screens, and begins matching applicants with potential ministry sites. When DVUSA has applicants that match your organization’s skill set and needs, DVUSA forwards this candidate’s information to you for you to interview each potential applicant. When both the applicant and the service site agree that the volunteer is a good fit for the organization, all parties receive a written contract to review and sign.
Though every effort is made to meet the request of each organization, DVUSA cannot guarantee that all placements will be filled in a given year. Finding the best match is dependent on the skills requested by the service site, the applicant pool and the availability of community sites to host volunteers. During the year, the service site is expected to conduct all on-site supervision and training necessary for the volunteer. Sick time, vacation time, hours, dress code, and all other service site organizational policies will be applicable for the volunteer. However, as a requirement of DVUSA, retreat dates should not be counted as vacation days. At least one site visit will be conducted by DVUSA staff after the volunteer has been in site for 30 days, including an interview with the volunteer, and the site supervisor as needed/if desired.
Thank you for your interest in DVUSA! Please call 312-226-0919 with any questions. Submit the VOLUNTEER REQUEST FORM by e-mail to Co-Directors Allison Beyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Megan Rupp (email@example.com) or by mail to 533 Ashland Ave, River Forest, IL 60305.