By Dan McFadden
Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is changing its orientation and placement process. Beginning with the upcoming summer and fall units, volunteers will engage in a process in which they will be pre-placed prior to the start of orientation. Orientation, in turn, will be shortened from three weeks to one week.
This summer’s orientation unit will take place at Camp Wilbur Stover in New Meadows, Idaho, on Aug. 9-17.
Volunteers will meet with BVS staff to review placement options and engage in a discernment process before interviews and placements are made with project sites. BVS already has heard from project sites that knowing of possible placements in advance of orientation will be helpful. BVS has heard in the past that for volunteers, not knowing until orientation where one is going to serve has increasingly been an issue, and in some cases a deterrent from joining BVS.
Another change is that the monthly stipend will increase from $100 a month to $250 a month, increasing to $300 a month for a second-year volunteer. The stipend has been $100 a month for almost 20 years and is overdue for an increase. BVS has heard about financial burdens from volunteers and potential volunteers, including increasing school debt and other expenses that have made serving more difficult.
— Dan McFadden is interim director of Brethren Volunteer Service. Find out more about BVS and how to participate at www.brethren.org/bvs.
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