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Volunteer at CVIF

There are countless benefits to becoming a Catholic Volunteer. CVIF Volunteer Vanity talks about her experience as a CVIF volunteer.

Volunteer at CVIF

There are countless benefits to becoming a Catholic Volunteer. CVIF Volunteer Kalley Koch talks about her experience as a CVIF volunteer.

CVIF helped me develop my skills in working with people and in my faith journey. They’ve helped me decide where I want to go and to open my heart to Christ. – Edson

Catholic Volunteers really helped me focus and realize what my purpose was. It gave me my connection to religion and to God,” said Orsini. She was raised Catholic and even attended Catholic school, but said, “choosing CVIF was my first step of actually choosing to follow in a Catholic path. This is the first time I am living for God, and not so much for a paycheck.

In living more simply, on a smaller budget, volunteers can focus on service and selflessness. Ferris noted, “Living simply is one of Catholic Volunteers’ values, and I definitely had to find ways to budget… I learned how to make choices about what was really important, which is different than the very materialistic culture we live in for sure.” She concurred with Orsini and Jean that the complete experience made them better people, allowing them to look within and be open to trusting God’s plan for their lives.

We learn so much from our amazing volunteers, and we accompany them on their faith journey,” Buckley said. “We see and honor the Christ in one another, and the people in the communities we serve, so we can share God’s love in the world. What a blessing.

How It Works and Description of Services Offered

A year with Catholic Volunteers in Florida is spent in service, spiritual development, growth, and community.  We are dedicated to providing people of all ages and experiences the opportunity to live out their faith by serving economically poor and marginalized communities throughout the state and in the Dominican Republic.  Our goal is to support and accompany emerging leaders as you “become who you are” and live out your purpose and passion.

CVIF has full-time positions available in a variety of places and interests – from youth development and community engagement to farmworker and immigrant services and criminal justice reform. We would love to talk with you to see where your talents and interests and the needs of our services sites intersect!

To get the conversation started, email us your resume: volunteer@cvif.org; you can then fill out our online application form. Our staff will review your application materials and connect with you to schedule a phone interview. After acceptance you will have a final interview with a potential service site. Most placements start in August and end in July, however we continue to place volunteers throughout the year to meet community needs, so dates can be flexible.  Communication during this application process is incredibly important to us, so feel free to ask any questions you might have!

Volunteer Benefits

As a volunteer with CVIF, you will receive furnished housing, a monthly stipend (up to $600), health insurance (including dental and vision coverage), and travel reimbursement for program sponsored events. The AmeriCorps Education Award is also available for volunteers in qualifying positions. Upon completion of the full service year, this award can provide up to $5,900 to pay off past student loans or fund future education. If this is something that interests you, let us know!

In addition to providing needs for basic living, CVIF supports members in their spiritual, personal, and professional development. To that end, volunteers go on quarterly retreats, and are given monthly coaching and opportunities for professional and leadership development. Retreat workshops also include training on cultural competency, leadership, advocacy, wellness, and social justice. Catholic Volunteers in Florida thoroughly invests in each and everyone of our volunteers; we believe our job is to provide avenues and spaces that challenge, strengthen, and encourage you to “become who you are” as you spend a year sharing your time and talents, living out your values, putting faith into action, and serving people on the margins.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to be Catholic to volunteer with Catholic Volunteers in Florida?

No! While our program is based on Catholic Social Teaching and is grounded in the Catholic faith, we encourage people of all faiths, or no faith, to apply. Our goal is to build a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive faith community and to accompany young adults on their spiritual journey, wherever they find themselves. On average, 30-50% of our volunteers each year would not identify as Catholic.

What are the requirements for applicants?

Applicants must be 21 years of age. A college degree is not necessary, but helpful with many placements. Access to a car (public transportation in Florida is limited) is helpful but not required in all placements. Candidates with dependents and married couples are welcome to apply. We are looking for applicants who have a heart for service, a hunger for justice, an openness to learning, and a commitment to building community.  It helps to have a sense of humor, flexibility, and patience!

What will my work schedule be? Will I have vacation time?

Your schedule at your service site will be full time (approximately 40 hours per week) and time off will be based on the needs of the service site.  While you serve as a “Catholic Volunteer”, you will function as a full-time team member of the organization where you are placed, and follow the policies and procedures of the service site organization, in addition to being part of CVIF. All volunteers are excused from service to participate in the quarterly CVIF retreats.

How does the site placement process work?

CVIF’s goal is to match each volunteer’s skills, education, and interests with those of the service sites participating in the program. The CVIF program staff are well equipped to understand your gifts and talents and how they would align with our nonprofit and ministry partners.  You will be accepted into the program with a few options for sites, and the final determination is made once you interview with your site placement. We ask for flexibility in the process.  At the end of the day, we ask that volunteers be open to serving communities with the greatest need.

How does CVIF help prepare me for what I want to do next?

Your CVIF position will provide you concrete skills and experiences which will make you a desirable candidate for graduate schools and many professional fields. CVIF retreats provide leadership, team building, vocational discernment, and professional growth.  Many of our volunteers are offered a full time position at their service site upon completion of the program; some CVs attend graduate school; some remain and are accepted for a second year of service, and others move home and continue to pursue a full time job.  If you are eligible for the AmeriCorps Education Award, you will be able to apply that award to past student loans or toward future tuition. 

Recent Press

Catholic Volunteers expand God’s kingdom
BY GLENDA MEEKINS | June 18, 2019

ORLANDO | Since 1983, an estimated 400 volunteers have served with Catholic Volunteers in Florida. Their service transformed their lives and those they served. Partnering with more than 40 agencies through the state, these men and women of all faiths continue to answer God’s call to serve “the least of these” (Mt 25:41).

“One of the greatest gifts of CVIF is the building of relationships,” said Elizabeth Buckley, executive director. “The CVIF family crosses the boundaries of race, religion, gender, age, economic background, and life experience, and builds bonds that every day remind me of what I imagine the kingdom of God must look like.”

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Catholic Volunteers in Florida help clean the retreat center at the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse in St. Augustine. The volunteers try to do service projects at each of their quarterly retreat locations. Far left is Edson Jean. Third from the right is Lara Orsini. (COURTESY)

Volunteer at CVIF

 There are countless benefits to becoming a Catholic Volunteer. We look forward to speaking with you personally to discuss all the ways a year of service can transform your life!

A volunteer year will:

  • Help to expand your social circle … everyone could use one more friend!
  • Enhance your social and communication skills
  • Give you greater self-confidence
  • Allow you to explore your vocational calling and help you sharpen your skills and discover your talents
  • Combat depression- it is SUNNY and WARM in Florida even when it is 30 degrees everywhere else!
  • Provide career experience and help you build your resume
  • Teach you to explore and reach new personal and professional goals

Applications Are Now Being Accepted! Adults of All Ages Are Encouraged to Apply!

DEADLINES for 2020: All applications for early acceptance must be received by March 31, 2020. After that time, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.  Interviews will continue until all service site placements have been filled by the best candidate.  We look forward to seeing your application soon!

Now Accepting Applications