Volunteer Guidelines

Volunteer Guidelines

Safety Rules
  • Make the supervisor aware of any physical limitations you may have that might hinder your helping activity. Your safety is of utmost importance.
  • Remember equipment doesn’t stop on a dime! Always give equipment the right of way.
  • Never expect equipment operators to see or hear you.
  • Do not run quickly in front of machinery, or to “just get by.” Step back and make eye contact with the operators.
  • Absolutely no one may operate our power equipment without authorization.
What to Wear
  • Dress for the weather, in the winter wear warm clothes; in the summer, cool clothes—but no muscleman tank tops or camisoles.
  • Old clothes that can get dirty are perfect!
  • Shoes must cover the entire foot and have good rubber soles.
At the beginning of your first shift:
  • Sign a Volunteer Release Form.  Each person who helps is required to fill out a form.
  • Record your volunteer time from the time you leave home. Record your time at the end of your shift.
  • Check in with the lead volunteer helper(s) to know what needs to be done.
  • Ask for an orientation tour by the lead volunteer if this is your first time helping HSCSI.
  • Make them aware of physical limitations you may have so that we can properly select your activities. Your safety is of utmost importance.
 Familiarize yourself with the Participants’ Guidelines

Although it may be uncomfortable, volunteers sometimes need to talk to shopping participants about the guidelines. You may find it helpful to read the material on the participant guidelines page. The following are the most common concerns.

  • Enforcing item limits
  • A minimum of two hours per person is required every time a person works in the warehouse.
  • Shopping time is not considered part of the two-hour minimum.
  • Participants can get up to one cart full of groceries. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Participants are not to unload the cart and go back for another shopping time.  We want to have enough for the other families as well.

It is never acceptable for someone to be rude to you. If a shopper is unpleasant with you, the lead volunteer must know right away.

Volunteer Jobs

Drivers have a great responsibility to represent Hope Station to our donors. Here are some things to remember:

  • Be courteous to everyone.
  • Defer graciously if an argument arises about whether you should be picking up items. Report any incident to the executive director.
  • joke with suppliers about “selling” anything.  We do not sell our donations.
  • Give us enough notice if you can’t make your designated drive so we can get a substitute.
  • Report your pick-ups in the record book.
Sorting Food Items
  • Wipe or wash unclean items.
  • Remove unsafe items. (Does this look clean and safe?)
  • Group ‘like’ items together.
  • Repackage items in appropriate quantities.
  • Store sorted boxes in designated areas.
  • Keep the shelves clean and orderly always.
  • Boxes containing food must never be on the floor.
Stocking Shelves
  • Do not lift boxes that are too heavy for you! Ask for help.  When moving crates use a hand truck, but do not drag crates across clean room floor.  Your safety is FIRST!
  • Keep ‘like’ items in the same areas; i.e. canned vegetables together, fruit, spaghetti sauce, etc.
  • Face the labels so that they can be read at a glance
  • Check for expiration dates and place them accordingly (i.e. items with longer validations go in the back of the shelf.
Handling Food
  • Food items that we receive in bulk are repackaged or placed on the shelves for distribution.
  • Wash your hands first and ALWAYS wear clean gloves. Food safety is of vital importance.
  • Wipe down the surface with disinfectant first and between every job.
  • Label individual items as they are packaged.  (Pastry flour and unbleached flour look alike, but don’t bake the same!)
  • Clean up after each job, wiping floor if necessary.
Sorting and Organizing Clothing
  • Sort clothing according to their own categories (age and gender)
  • If clothing is not in good condition, place it in a separate bag.
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