Although your volunteering with us may be required, your help will be appreciated!
Please clear your volunteering with us before you start. Otherwise, we may not be able to certify it. We do not want you to waste your time or run too close to your completion deadline. Of course, we also want to make sure that your efforts are of real value to the End Poverty CampaignSM or other public service work we do. A summary of our work.
Volunteering outside our
We strongly recommend that you confirm in advance that remote volunteering is acceptable in your program. Not all of our activities can be done from outside our office. If in doubt, just ask!
ID and timesheets
We provide time sheets to keep track of required hours and also will cooperate with any reasonable paperwork required.
Hearts & Minds does not charge fees for accepting school-required community service.
In most cases, Hearts & Minds is not able to work with those who were accused or convicted of violent crimes, threats of violence, sexual offenses or threats, illegal weapons possession, possession of large quantities of illegal substances, most felonies, or any theft.
We require all court related community service volunteers to sign an affirmation that they have not been charged in the last 10 years and were never convicted for any of those crimes.
When we write letters to certify hours, we add a summary of the charges and accusations that you informed us. We also include a statement that not fully informing us should be considered a violation of trust, since we need to protect the wide range of individuals in our building.
We recognize this may create difficulties for some accused individuals, but our office is in a building used by people and groups of all ages including very young children. We accept volunteers as young as 14 years old. Also, we and others in this building have had thefts. We feel we have to limit what kind of volunteers we accept.
We may certify and specify that some of your hours were done outside our first-hand presence. In that case, we reserve the right to include this fact in our letter. We only certify hours that reflect work we approve in advance, and when we decide the time matches tangible accomplishments.
If you make false statements or are caught doing anything harmful here, we may actively report this to the authorities who deal with your case.
If you have difficulty finding a place to do community service, please ask the court for additional ways you can find a placement. On request, we will also try to help you find a place, even if we feel we cannot accept your volunteering with us.
If anything is unclear or you're unsure whether we may accept your volunteering with us, before coming in, you can call and speak confidentially, directly with our president, Bill Blackman, at 1 212 280 0333.
Fees and donations
Court-related volunteers are usually required to make an initial donation of at least $100* by the start of their second day volunteering with us. If you are required to do (or end up doing) less than 100 hours, that donation should total at least $200*. If you end up doing more than 100 hours, the extra amount can be returned. No hours will be certified without this payment. Since this is a donation, it may be tax deductible, but that is a matter to be confirmed by your accountant and/or lawyer.
*Except as described above, donations are non-refundable. Your court charges do not count towards what we just described, but our amounts may be lowered for those who can show that they have a low income and/or receive substantial public assistance. Please request this before you start volunteering with us. All volunteers must donate something to our work.
If you are here more than one month, as with all our volunteers, you will be then be required to start donating monthly. This amount is flexible. There are no other charges from us.
This information is kept confidential.
If the court documents do not
clearly explain the alleged offense, we will ask for your permission to call the
authorities or require you to get a letter from
your lawyer. We may accept an email for this purpose, but even an email must include the lawyer
and/or authority's full name, title, name of his firm
and publicly listed phone number and address e.g. for his legal practice. This
email should be sent directly to our president, Bill Blackman, at: greatchange at*
Thank you for your interest in helping our public service work.More on Volunteer and Internship Opportunities.
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