Volunteer

 

We are grateful for the support we receive, and cannot complete our mission without our dedicated volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, we have many different ways you can help.

Our volunteer application is for anyone interested in helping out, whether it be one-time volunteering or a larger commitment. We can always use help with occasional projects and ongoing services in our Repurposed stores, safe home, outreach, and awareness & prevention programs. Take a look at our volunteer application below.

Volunteer Opportunities

General Information

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Living in Liberty! We are a grass-roots organization, and our operations are dependent on the faithful service & commitment of over 100 volunteers who work with us to fight trafficking in our city.

There are a variety of ways to get involved with us. Whether you are looking to join one of our four primary volunteer teams, assist with behind-the-scenes administrative needs, help us organize one of our fundraising events, or join a team to help with occasional event and project needs, we are grateful for your time and service!

Living in Liberty has four primary branches: Our safe home, our street outreach ministry, our Repurposed thrift stores, and our awareness & prevention team. Read more about these opportunities to serve below.

If you want to learn more about Living in Liberty before you join our team, come to our Volunteer training to get to know us and see if we are a good fit for each other.

Application

To apply as a volunteer with Living in Liberty, please being by clicking the link below to complete our online application or visit our Repurposed thrift store [Link to address on google maps] to pick up a physical copy of the volunteer application. See the complete volunteer application process below.

Feel free to email our volunteer coordinator, Amy Iseminger, at volunteer@livinginliberty.org with any questions!

Our volunteer application process is as follows:

  1. Attend a volunteer training and info event. Find information about upcoming training events on our website’s events page.

    We welcome all to attend one of these training and info sessions--this can be done before you submit an application if you are just looking to learn more about the issue of human trafficking, hoping to learn more about Living in Liberty as an organization, or are not yet sure whether Living in Liberty is a good match for you. This event will provide helpful information and may help you discern which area of Living in Liberty would be the best fit for you as a volunteer opportunity. We host these training events on a monthly basis, so you can hopefully find an upcoming time and date that work for you. This is a one-time, required 2-hour session for all Living in Liberty volunteers, so we encourage you to attend at your earliest convenience.
  2. Complete the volunteer application. This can be done before or after attending a volunteer training & info event; however, attending will give you a better idea of how you might want to get involved before you fill out the application. For volunteering at our Repurposed thrift store, please complete level 1 of the volunteer application. For volunteering in any other capacity, please complete levels 1&2 of the volunteer application.
  3. Complete PA criminal background check. This is free for volunteers! There are two easy ways to do this:
    • Download, complete, and submit this form [download link for “background check info” form] to our volunteer coordinator at Volunteer@livinginliberty.org
    • Visit https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp to submit a new record check request, then download and submit the results to our volunteer coordinator at Volunteer@livinginliberty.org. Find directions for completing this quick and easy online check here [download link for “steps to completing your background check”] **PLEASE NOTE: you must submit the results to us personally; the state does not mail a copy of the background check results once they have been processed, even though you may include our address in the background check request.**
  4. Specific training. Each area of involvement will require additional training, and may require completion of additional application materials. Team-specific training will be conducted by your volunteer team leader after you have completed the other steps in this application process. Additional materials required for volunteering may include completing a TB test, submitting proof of driver’s license & insurance, or completing an additional questionnaire to help our team leaders get to know you better. Our volunteer coordinator will provide you with these as necessary.
Safe Home

Our Liberty Safe home* provides a loving, nurturing, home-like environment for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. Residents participate in a 12-18 month, 5-step recovery and independence-preparation program. This program offers assistance in addiction recovery, counseling, job- and life-skills training, discipleship, and support on the journey toward independence and freedom.

Our Safe home is staffed 24-7 by our caring volunteers and staff members. Volunteers in the home are assigned a weekly or bi-weekly shift, according to scheduling needs and volunteer availability. Shifts could involve anything from shuttling residents to-and-from appointments, to cooking a meal with residents, to simply being present in the home while our women go about their respective routines.

Because the goal of this program is to create a safe atmosphere where personal growth can occur, we seek to establish consistency and trust between our residents and our volunteers. For this reason, we require volunteers in the home to commit to a regular shift rotation for a minimum of 6 months. If at this time you are unable to commit in this capacity, this team may not be the best fit for you.

*For the safety of our residents, the exact address of our safe home, located in the greater Pittsburgh area, is not public information.

Street Outreach

Our street outreach teams work in five neighborhoods in the Pittsburgh area: Homewood, North Side, South Side, McKeesport, and Butler.

Volunteer teams make weekly visits to the same neighborhoods, spending time prayer-walking the streets and visiting with women we know and with new acquaintances. These teams endeavor to create authentic, trusting relationships in order to serve the women we support through: prayer, counsel, locating and securing essential resources, and providing other miscellaneous assistance as we are able.

Teams provide hot meals, donations, and other services at our weekly, women-only care centers. Volunteers help to serve meals, facilitate a welcoming environment for the women who come in off the streets, pass out donated clothing or hygiene products, and converse or pray with women as seems fit.

Our street outreach team is committed to a faithful ministry of presence in order to build trust and authentic relationships with the women we serve. In order to do this, our team members must commit to participating with their teams in prayer walking or serving at one of our care centers at least twice a month, for a minimum of 6 months. If you are unable to commit in this capacity, this team may not be the best fit for you.

Repurposed Thrift Stores

Living in Liberty runs two thrift stores in the Pittsburgh area. Our main store, Repurposed for the Thrifty Shopper in You, is located on McKnight Rd. and boasts two stories of gently used housewares, furniture, books, clothing, and more; this store also hosts our Sozo Boutique & cafe, a fair trade shop filled with items made by survivors of trafficking worldwide. Our second store, Repurposed for Kids, is located on East Ohio St. on the North Side of Pittsburgh, and supplies children’s clothing (0-Juniors), baby gear, toys, books, maternity, as well as a limited supply of men & women’s clothing.

Our repurposed stores provide critical, financial support to sustain the rest of our work as an organization. They also serve as a platform for raising awareness about human trafficking globally and in Pittsburgh, as we seek to educate our shoppers about the reality of trafficking and the cause that they support through their patronage.

Donations to the store may also be distributed by our street outreach team, or may help to provide our safe home residents with necessities when they come to live with us or are ready to be established on their own.

Safe home residents also have the opportunity to gain valuable job skills and professional training by working at the stores during their time with us, and may continue to find employment at one of our Repurposed stores after they complete their program at the home.

Both of our thrift stores are run by a small paid managerial staff and a host of faithful volunteers. Repurposed volunteers spend time at the stores helping to sort & price donations, maintaining orderly displays and racks, cleaning, providing handyman assistance where necessary, and assisting or waiting on customers. Other volunteers may help to coordinate or participate in our monthly furniture donation pick-up runs. Some volunteers may also assist in collecting necessary donations for weekly distribution by our street outreach teams.

Volunteering at the store may be a weekly or monthly commitment, or may be a one-time group volunteer opportunity.

Awareness & Prevention

Volunteer Opportunities with the Awareness and Prevention Team:  If you are passionate about raising awareness and providing prevention information about human trafficking specifically sex trafficking, this is a great opportunity for you.  Training as needed is provided.

Formal presentation opportunities:

  • Assist in developing and delivering presentations on human trafficking (focusing on sex trafficking) awareness, identification, and prevention to a variety of groups
  • Communicate the mission and activities of Living in Liberty
  • Facilitate video screenings, group exercises, and group discussion
  • Facilitate youth education and prevention curriculum to middle and high school aged students

Less formal opportunities including supportive roles:

  • Schedule, coordinate, and staff educational booths and tabletop displays to provide information and answer questions
  • Development and execution of Human Trafficking Awareness Month (January) activities and events
  • Develop informational handout materials as well as identify and evaluate educational materials related to human trafficking available from other organizations.  Order, monitor stock, and reorder as necessary.
  • Monitor and gather information regarding human trafficking facts, laws, and statistics worldwide, within the US, and locally.
  • Monitor, gather and summarize local cases, trends, and yearly reports from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, US State Department and the United Nations as well as other organizations.
  • Coordinate social media communication

Seeking volunteers with the following qualifications:

  • A commitment to respectfully and compassionately communicate the plight of survivors of human trafficking
  • Strong knowledge base of human trafficking and associated dynamics (will provide opportunities to obtain this knowledge base)
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with team members
  • Self-starter, who applies individual initiative to get projects done
  • For speaking roles:
    • Public speaking and community engagement experience
    • Group facilitation skills
    • Experience teaching youth is highly desirable
    • Working knowledge of PowerPoint and use of audiovisual equipment
  • Access to reliable transportation
  • Availability during the day is highly desirable
  • Successfully pass a criminal history and child abuse clearance for volunteers in the state of Pennsylvania
  • Use Excel to track and log all activities performed for the Awareness and Prevention Team
Group Opportunities

We welcome groups of all varieties to volunteer with Living in Liberty. Groups can participate by serving at one of our two Repurposed thrift stores, by helping to prepare food or collect donations for distribution by our street outreach team, by assisting with one-time volunteer needs (such as fundraising events, helping to manage large donation deliveries to our thrift stores, maintenance projects, etc.).

Whether you are looking to schedule a regular time for your group to come and serve with us, or would like to arrange a one-day service project, we would love to hear from you! Contact our volunteer coordinator at Volunteer@livinginliberty.org for more information.

Current Special Needs

See below for a list of current one-time or specific volunteer needs. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator at Volunteer@livinginliberty.org for more information.

  1. Truck Route Manager – help us facilitate our monthly pick-up route for furniture donations by overseeing communication with donors and our truck route drivers.
  2. Safe Home Manager – help oversee scheduling and training for our safe home volunteer staff.
  3. Outreach Donations – help our street outreach team prepare for their weekly neighborhood visits by collecting clothing donations at the store for their distribution.
  4. Pick-up and Unload Donations – help load and unload donations from one of two kids consignment sales happening the weekend of October 6th & 7th! Contact Store Director Karen Robinson at Karen@Livinginliberty.org for more details.
  5. Table-Top Display Coordinator – help research opportunities for and organize Living in Liberty’s representation at conferences, fairs, and other events in the Pittsburgh area.

Words from our volunteers

  • The volunteers here have so much compassion for these women that it is truly inspiring.

From Repurposed

  • My time is not wasted. It is a great cause. You work hard but feel good about it. It is my happy place.
  • 3 years ago I came and loved the Christian music. My ladies church group was looking for a service project as I as researching it was good for me. I believe in the cause. Now the ladies group come monthly during the school year.
  • It is like family. When I come it feels good The people are why I love it.
  • It is great cause we can volunteer where we want. When we leave we have a sense of accomplishment.
  • I learned how human trafficking is in our back yard not just the big cities.
  • My church group came on compassion day. We loved the mission, flexible volunteer hours, and the other volunteers are great.
  • I love the mission, love friends here at the store. That is why I keep coming back.

From Our Safe Home

  • It has been refreshing to know that she is able to confess her struggles with the constraints of the program in a healthy manner and receive grace to help in a time of need.
  • In terms of breakthrough, I have always been impressed with the openness demonstrated and willingness to not only share her story but desire to know mine.
  • I would say that my time working with the girls has definitely impressed upon me how very broken we all are and so much in need of Jesus.

From Outreach

  • It has been an honor serving Living in Liberty in more ways than one, through the leaders and through "our girls". I'll never forget the experience of building relationships with the precious women of the Northside Care Center. I didn't matter if the women were regular visitors, "drop-in's" or one timers. We all shared laughter and tears, hardships and comfort, victories and defeats. Visitors were always blessed with a lovingly prepared meal. Whether it was eating together, doing crafts, coloring pictures, styling hair or picking out clothes in was done with love. I was Spiritually moved by our guests and inspired by our leaders. Prayer was abundant before and after hours, while walking the streets and with each other. When I moved away, one of my deepest regrets was leaving this ministry. The amount of passion to serve the Lord's daughters is the heart of Living in Liberty.
  • It (Living in Liberty) has given me the awareness of the problem we have and how human trafficking is everywhere, has helped me educate my kids of what to look after and be careful about, and most importantly, to get to know these women and see them grow.
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