March 23, 2005
|Courtesy of the General Board of Global Ministries
Greg Forrester and Jeanie Blankenbaker look over materials for volunteers.
NEW YORK (UMNS) — Individual mission volunteers often can choose where they want to serve – as long as they have an invitation.
do not place anybody where it is not requested,” said Greg Forrester,
who is national coordinator of the individual volunteers program for the
United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
requests come from heads of churches or various programs and are later
confirmed by the local bishop or church president when a specific
individual is chosen.
process for potential volunteers begins with an application form, three
references and a medical form. The applicant is interviewed by the
conference volunteer-in-mission coordinator and/or the jurisdictional
interview also is conducted with Forrester or Jeanie Blankenbaker, head
of mission volunteers for the Board of Global Ministries, at a
volunteer training event. “Until I actually see them face-to-face, I’m
not going to place them anywhere,” Forrester said.
volunteers can list three preferred geographic areas for placement by
looking at a potential site list. Once they receive an assignment, which
is usually for a minimum of two months, volunteers must be prepared to
pay for all expenses, including transportation, lodging and meals. In
some cases, the host will provide lodging or a small stipend, but that
is not guaranteed.
report is submitted at the end of the mission period, along with an
evaluation from the volunteer’s supervisor at the site. Those reports
are used as a basis to consider future placements. Many individual
volunteers go on to another placement, Forrester said.
More information is available online at www.missionvolunteers.org or by calling Forrester at (607) 756-7799.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.