Volunteer involvement is an important component of The Kennedy Center. Our agency was founded through the efforts of loyal, hardworking, dedicated volunteers and continues to thrive largely because of our volunteers' efforts.
Currently, over three hundred people volunteer for The Kennedy Center.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years or older. Persons 14 years of age and older are welcome to participate in special services such as the Children's and Senior's Program. The Kennedy Center is grateful for any time you can provide, and we do not require a minimum number of hours to volunteer.
A Volunteer Application and three Personal References are required for all potential volunteers. Interviews and orientation are also required for all new volunteers.
For more information, please contact the Volunteer and Intern Coordinator, at (203) 365-8522 x207 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Residences: Assistance is needed in any of our 14 group homes. Volunteers over the age of 18 work with residents on a one-to-one or group basis. Based on the need of a particular home, volunteers could work under the supervision of Kennedy Center staff, with residents on developing hobbies, social skills, or independent living skills. Volunteers may also attend recreational activities with residents and Kennedy Center staff, which may include picnics, dances, baseball games, and trips to the mall!
Therapeutic Recreation: Opportunities are available to assist consumers with their participation in recreation and leisure activities. Recreation Aides may perform a wide variety of functions - from starting a crafts of baking class to assisting with sports programs or weekend excursions such as community outings, individual supports, drop-in centers, Special Olympics, and bowling leagues. Hours are available during the weekday, late afternoon, evenings, and weekends.
Auxiliary: The Auxiliary of The Kennedy Center was founded in 1979 and has long been recognized for its innovative projects. The Auxiliary raises funds for programs that will support and sponsor consumers of The Kennedy Center. Their main source of revenue is generated from the New and Nearly New Shop. Thrift store volunteers may work flexible hours.
Senior Program: Teach seniors with disabilities leisure, vocational, and independent living skills. Activities include music therapy, dance, exercise therapy, gardening, and cooking. Hours are available weekdays from 9:00am to 3:15pm. This is a wonderful opportunity for a senior citizen to act as a "mentor" to an older person with disabilities!
Art Program: Assist the Art Therapist with painting classes. This would include mixing paints and offering assistance with drawing. Work one-on-one with individuals with disabilities. Hours available are Mondays from 9:30am to 11:30am; 1:00pm to 2:00pm, or 3:00pm to 5:00pm. A great opportunity for Art Therapy majors to gain some experience!
Fundraising Committee Members: Assist the Development department in the planning and execution of special events and other fund raising programs. Fund raising events include a Cabaret and Silent Auction, a Golf Tournament, a formal Dinner Dance, and an Advertising Journal. Other fund raising programs include Membership Recruitment and the expansion of the Endowment Fund. This is an excellent way to meet new people!
Vocational Rehabilitation: Assist the rehabilitation staff in the workshop and at the community based vocational sites. Duties may include data collecting, one-to-one support and co-facilitation of group activities like job coping skills and anger management classes. Hours available are weekdays from 8:00am to 4:00pm.
Community Experience Volunteer: Assist staff with the maintenance of consumer information, consumer programs, and one-on-one support for consumers. Programs are located in Milford, Bridgeport, Stratford, Fairfield, and Westport. This is an excellent way to get an overview of the agency's operation. Ideal for a person planning to enter the rehabilitation field!
Children's Services Volunteer: Volunteers are needed to assist with the integration of children with disabilities into existing recreational and social programs in the community. Volunteers act as a coach and a friend to the child, assisting the child to participate in the activity, while at the same time, promoting understanding of the needs of children with disabilities among instructors and other class participants. Some opportunities in the Children's Program include:
- After school programs during the school year Monday through Friday from 3:00pm-6:00pm. Programs are held in numerous different elementary schools in Bridgeport.
- Bridgeport Summer Camps in numerous elementary schools in Bridgeport. In this program, children with disabilities participate in academic and recreational activities. A great summer opportunity for student teachers!
- Camp Tepee is a summer day camp held at the Lakewood-Trumbull YMCA and volunteers are needed for one week or more to support kids from the ages of 4-13 years old who are attending. Volunteers will have the opportunity to spend the day with their "buddy" child (a child with disabilities) participating in daily activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, theater and nature. Transportation for volunteers will be provided if needed.
- Buddy Program - A child with disabilities is paired with a volunteer to participate together in activities of their choice. Times, days, and activity are established between the volunteer and buddy.
- Community based programs: The volunteer will accompany a child who has a disability to a community based activity, giving them the opportunity to experience fun and exciting new things! Examples of community based programs are athletic teams, swimming lessons, and religious education classes.
- Drop In Programs: Various monthly meetings are held in Trumbull and volunteers are needed to assist staff with activities and support the participation of children/teens/young adults with special needs to participate in group program offerrings.