Brethren Volunteer Service

Older adult program information


Brethren Volunteer Service has always been interested in providing opportunities for older adult volunteers. Older adult volunteers are welcome in any of the orientation units that are offered each year and almost all volunteer assignments are available to older adults. The determining factors in project and assignment choices are the interest of the volunteer and one’s abilities to do the required work.

BVS also provides special orientation units for older adults (50 years and older). This units are offered in the spring of each year, held in New Windsor, Maryland.

The program for older adults offers some different options from the regular BVS process including:

Come check us out: Older Adults have the unique opportunity to attend the ten-day orientation to explore volunteering without making a commitment to serve. In this case the application process still needs to be completed.

Term of service: Older adult volunteers are required to serve a minimum of six months. Most BVS projects accept six month terms. Volunteers interested in international assignments are expected to commit for two years.

Medical insurance: Full medical insurance is available to those volunteers taking a full time BVS assignment for a minimum of six months . However, many older adults already have medical insurance coverage through medicare or a retirement plan and are asked to keep this coverage.

Support: All volunteers are provided room and board and a $100 a month stipend.

Orientation: The special orientation for older adults is 12 days long. Please contact the BVS office. Older adults are welcome at any of the other orientation units available throughout the year.

Transportation: Volunteers are expected to cover their own costs to orientation (as for all BVSers), and BVS asks older adults to cover all the transportation costs related to getting to and from their project assignment. This is especially true for six-month assignments. BVS assumes that many older adults will want to have their own cars at project, and this will be encouraged. Please note: If older adult volunteers need assistance in covering transportation costs to projects, please ask BVS about this.

Project start date: The starting date for the project assignment is negotiable depending on the needs of the volunteer and the project. Most volunteers will return home for a period of time before beginning their volunteer assignment.

Application: The regular BVS application will be used. BVS will still expect three references. When educational or employment references are not relevant, personal or church references may be substituted.

Project selection: Older adults will follow the same basic process of project selection as other BVS volunteers. Project assignments are chosen during orientation, and BVS staff will do their best to make final arrangements before the orientation ends. BVS will have an up-to-date project availability listing closer to the orientation.

Older adults who plan to go to their assignments immediately following the spring orientation may need to be pre-placed. Check with the BVS staff about this if you plan or need to take your assignment immediately following orientation.

Most projects listed in the project book are available for six-month assignments. Overseas assignments still require a two-year commitment.

Please note: As with all BVS projects, availability for taking a volunteer can change with each orientation unit. BVS will post an up-to-date placement list about one month prior to the beginning of the unit. Also, older adults coming into these special spring units can take one- and two-year assignments through BVS.

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