Army Community Service (ACS) is rich in the tradition of volunteerism and offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities that significantly impact the military community. The concept of volunteer participation was incorporated within Army Community Service (ACS) from the very beginning. The Army Community Service (ACS) volunteer staff augments paid staff and expands program capabilities through the donation of time and service.
Most Army Community Service (ACS) staffs have a Volunteer Manager who is a volunteer, emphasizing the teamwork that exists between Army Community Service (ACS) paid and volunteer staff.
Who are Army Community Service (ACS) volunteers?
Army Community Service (ACS) volunteers are soldiers, retirees, civilians, spouses, youth and survivors. They come to us from both the active and reserve components. The common bond of these volunteers is the desire to help meet the needs of Army community members, the desire to assist Army Community Service (ACS) in its Mission of "Self-Help, Service and Stability." Typically the Army Community Service (ACS) has over 10,000 volunteers who contribute approximately 500,000 hours of service.
What types of volunteer positions are in Army Community Service (ACS)?
The ways that you can help your community and find satisfaction as an Army Community Service (ACS) volunteer are endless! Although all Army Community Service (ACS) centers have opportunities for volunteers, the exact type of opportunities available will depend on the installation. As an Army Community Service (ACS) volunteer, you can teach classes in money management assist with income tax preparation or conduct installation orientation classes. You can encourage an exceptional family member in recreational programs, assist new parents with their babies or prepare foreign-born individuals for citizenship and teach them English.
Volunteers learn about community resources by updating the information files and the relocation information database. Volunteers can also help relocating families by assisting with the lending closet.
They welcome clients to the Army Community Service (ACS) Office, market the services provided and prepare handouts. Volunteers counsel clients, make home visits, and prepare lesson plans. During times of mobilization and deployment, volunteers assist soldiers and family members in the Family Assistance Centers. By visiting other sections of this web site, you can learn about the services Army Community Service (ACS) offers and how volunteering in these offices will impact your community.
Besides contributing to these organized services, volunteers in Army Community Service (ACS) often assist with special projects such as holiday baskets, new baby presents, and Special Olympics. Through Army Family Team Building (AFTB), Army Family Action Plan (AFAP), and the Army Volunteer Corps Coordinator (AVCC), volunteers are needed to teach classes about military life, to organize symposiums addressing military issues, and assist with volunteerism on the installation.
How are Army Community Service (ACS) volunteers trained?
Every Army Community Service (ACS) volunteer receives orientation training which includes information on the history of the organization and mission, the role of the volunteer, organization policies, volunteer procedures, the importance of confidentiality, and volunteer benefits. It is important to Army Community Service (ACS) that the volunteer staff receives adequate training to complete the jobs assigned; therefore, we often have pre-job training, on-the-job training, and continuing inservice training. When possible, volunteers may be sent to installation classes or to conferences to learn computer skills or enhance their knowledge about a program area. This training is an excellent opportunity to sharpen old skills and to learn new ones that may lead to a paid position in the future.
How often must volunteers serve?
We have volunteer positions that require only a few hours for a special project and others that require an on-going regular commitment. Tell us the type of commitment you want to make and we will find a project that interests you within your time requirements.
What do volunteers do with their children while they volunteer?
For many years when funds are available, Army Community Service (ACS) has reimbursed many volunteers for the cost of childcare at the Child Development Center while they volunteer in Army Community Service (ACS). Older children, especially teenagers, are encouraged to volunteer with their parents providing a rewarding experience to share and teaching youth the value of community service.
Are volunteers eligible for reimbursement of other incidental expenses? Volunteers may receive reimbursement of expenses connected with their volunteering such as mileage and telephone expenses provided the funds were budgeted and are available.
Do volunteers have to worry about damaging property or causing injuries while volunteering?
Army Community Service (ACS) volunteers are considered employees of the Federal Government for the purposes for tort claims and compensation for work-related injuries provided they have signed a volunteer agreement registering themselves as a volunteer of the agency.
Why should the volunteers maintain their service record and daily time record?
These records provide a history of the number of hours of service, the type of training and the work experience of the volunteer. In order to determine appropriate recognition and assignments, supervisors consult these records. When you move, it is important to have these records sent to the next installation and to request a duplicate for yourself. Taking this action will ensure that you begin your next volunteer assignment at the your current performance level. This record will be beneficial when seeking employment as it will attest to your training and experience. You should also request a copy of your position descriptions and a letter of recommendation from your supervisor or Army Community Service (ACS) Director.
How are Army Community Service (ACS) volunteers recognized?
All Army Community Service (ACS) volunteers are eligible for any volunteer award within the Department of Defense or the civilian community provided they meet the criteria.
The Department of the Army presents distinguished Army Community Service (ACS) volunteers with the prestigious Emma Marie Baird Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service. In addition to this recognition each MACOM (Major Army Command), installation and Army Community Service (ACS) Office recognizes volunteers through locally initiated certificates and mementos. However, the best recognition is often the simple words of praise and appreciation that comes from the hearts of the staff and clients.
Typically the Army Community Service (ACS) has over 10,000 volunteers who contribute approximately 500,000 hours of service. Come see us in the Army Community Service (ACS) Office to learn how we can work together today to build a better military community for tomorrow.