VOLUNTEER FAQ

DO I NEED TO BE A CHRISTIAN TO SERVE WITH YOU?

No. We welcome volunteers from all walks of life and faith backgrounds to join us. Please be aware that as a Christian organization we will pray for the outreach and with our guests. We will also play some worship music as we travel to the outreach location. You do not have to participate during any times of prayer/worship and we ask if any guests ask you for prayer that you guide them to someone who can fulfill that request.

WHERE DO I PARK?

At The Relief Base in Elizabeth, NJ there is street parking available. If you meet us at the outreach location there may or may not be space to park near the bus. In all cases, please be sure you are obeying posted signs concerning parking rules. We are not responsible for any parking tickets you may receive or any damage to your vehicle.

WHERE CAN I LEAVE MY PERSONAL BELONGINGS?

If you are serving at one of The Relief Bus outreaches, we can store personal items in our vehicle, however it will not be locked. At the Relief Co-Op there is a locked closet where you can store a few personal items. If you are meeting us at The Relief Base in Elizabeth, NJ you may also store items there. Where possible, please minimize the amount of personal belongings you carry with you. We are not responsible for volunteers' belongings.

DO YOU EVER CANCEL THE OUTREACH DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER?

Unless the bridges and tunnels are closed and there is no way for us to get to the outreach, we never cancel. If this unlikely event happens we will notify you as soon as possible. If you are worried about your safety and need to cancel, please contact us as soon as possible.

SHOULD I BRING FOOD WITH ME TO THE OUTREACH?

You are welcome to enjoy the soup, bread and drinks at a Relief Bus outreach. In fact, it is a great way to make a connection with one of our guests by sharing a meal with them. You may bring snacks for the bus ride, but we ask that you not bring in outside food during an outreach unless you have a medical reason to do so. If that is the case, please notify us ahead of time. 

HOW SHOULD I DRESS?

Our outreaches take place outside on the street so please be sure to wear weather appropriate clothing and closed toed shoes. Please do not wear clothing with vulgar or explicit messages, clothes advertising drugs/alcohol or wear expensive clothes or jewelry. If you would like to avoid wearing a hair net in the kitchen, we recommend that you bring a hat.

WARMER MONTHS: Please wear modest clothing that covers you, i.e. longer shorts, t-shirts rather than thin tank tops.

WINTER: It gets cold & windy on the street and you will want a warm coat, layers, hats, gloves, boots, etc.

CAN I BRING DONATIONS?

We currently only accept new men’s crew socks & travel sized toiletry items (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, alcohol free mouthwash, toothbrush, toothpaste, razor and body wash/soap). You are welcome to package the toiletry items into hygiene kits as well. In the winter we also accept donations of hats, gloves and scarves. You may also designate a gift online so we can purchase those items from our contacts. For questions about donations, please e-mail volunteer@newyorkcityrelief.org.