Thank you for your interest in volunteering at PATH!
PATH exists to bridge the gap in our community between kind and generous people with abundant resources and our neighbors who are in need. Volunteering is a life-changing way to help! PATH has hundreds of individuals who volunteer each year and numerous opportunities for serving for those who are 18 years or older. Limited opportunities for teens needing to accumulate community service hours for church or school are also available. Contact Mark at 903-617-2821 or mark_richardson@PATHhelps.org or volunteer@PATHhelps.org for a tour or more information. The summaries below will attempt to give you a quick overview of the usual volunteer opportunities, but we encourage you to approach us if you have a desire to serve our hard-working neighbors in need in another way.
Caseworkers meet with one family unit at a time to have a private conversation with them about their current situation and needs. Under the supervision of PATH’s experienced staff, they are trained to listen and provide encouragement and information and potential resources needed by that family, whether the needed resource is available within PATH or elsewhere in the community. The caseworker is responsible for accurately updating the records for each family in our web-based software “Charity Tracker” after each visit. Basic computer skills, excellent listening skills and attention to details are great attributes for a PATH volunteer caseworker. Normally these positions are scheduled for a 5 hour shift (8 am – 1 pm, or 1 pm – 6 pm) on a weekly basis, but scheduling can be flexible.
Volunteer receptionists are the first faces most of our neighbors and visitors encounter at PATH. They offer a friendly greeting to everyone entering our main office, including donors, collaborating partners, officials and neighbors in need. Under the supervision of experienced staff, receptionists help direct visitors to the appropriate staff member, where appropriate, provide basic information about PATH services, and encourage families seeking assistance to enroll as a PATH neighbor and visit with a Caseworker. Currently, PATH is serving over 100 families per day with our immediate assistance programs, so our receptionists must be able to maintain a calming presence and to work well with other volunteers and staff members as a team member. Basic computer skills, excellent organizational skills, dependability and a ready smile are great attributes for a PATH volunteer receptionist. Normally these positions are scheduled for a 5 hour shift (8 am – 1 pm, or 1 pm – 6 pm) on a weekly basis, but scheduling can be flexible.
Volunteer food pantry workers operate PATH’s Choice Food Pantry, the largest food pantry in the East Texas region. PATH receives food donations from collection drives from individuals and organizations throughout the community, including churches, businesses, and schools, supplementing those donations with purchases from, primarily, the East Texas Food Bank and the King’s Storehouse.
Under the supervision of experienced staff, one group of volunteers pick up those donations and purchases utilizing PATH vehicles during the week, receive and document all donations received at the main office location, and appropriately store or shelve the food items. These volunteer positions require the ability to lift, reach, stoop and carry items up to 40 pounds.
The other group of Food Pantry volunteers deal directly with the 100 families per day who have come to PATH for food assistance. After their visit with the Receptionists and Caseworkers, families come through the main building to the Food Pantry. They are greeted by a friendly volunteer who walks them through the pantry with a shopping cart and helps them select the items from the shelves which are available to them and are needed by their family. PATH’s Choice Food Pantry shelves are designed to offer a good selection of basic and healthy food items, including fresh and canned fruits and vegetables, frozen meats, breads and pastries, grains, dairy and personal care items. After completing their selections, each family is assisted to their vehicle with their groceries by another volunteer. These volunteer positions require the ability to walk and lift items up to 20 pounds. Dependability, a ready smile, a joy of meeting people, and the gift of carrying on a conversation are great attributes for a PATH Food Pantry volunteer. Normally these positions are scheduled for a 5 hour shift (8 am – 1 pm, or 1 pm – 6 pm) on a weekly basis, but scheduling can be flexible.
PATH COMMUNITY HOMES VOLUNTEER
PATH owns 52 rental homes inside the Tyler City limits and there are always maintenance needs present. Skilled and unskilled volunteers, under the supervision of experienced staff, tackle maintenance and repair and renovation tasks on these homes year-round. This position is a great opportunity for an individual or a group of volunteers, can be scheduled as a recurring or one-time occasion, and can be inside or outside work.
BEV’S KID REACH MENTORING
Bev’s Kid Reach Mentoring program is a community-based child mentoring program for at-risk children between the ages of 6 and 17. It is based on the Big Brothers/Big Sisters model; the mentor serves as a guide and experienced friend to the child, resulting in a close bond and a rewarding experience. Mentors are carefully screened and great care is taken to accomplish a great Match with a compatible child. The Mentor, child and their parent/guardian all must agree before a Match relationship is begun. Under the supervision of experienced staff, the Mentor is asked to make a one-year commitment to the relationship and to spend at least 4 hours per month one-on-one with the child. A love for children, great listening skills, and graceful wisdom are great attributes for a PATH Mentor volunteer.
Throughout the year, PATH holds special donation drives in the community to collect food, soup, personal care items, baby items and seasonal needs like fans, coats and blankets. Volunteers are very helpful with all of these donation drives and can enjoy a sense of accomplishment while serving the community. These can be great opportunities for groups from offices, schools, teams and churches to work together and grow as they serve.