One important way to support CHRIS Homes is through our Volunteer Program. Not only is this a way to give even when money is tight, but also it provides services that money cannot buy. Volunteering your time and talents helps CHRIS achieve its mission: to break the cycle of abuse…beginning with children.

Individuals are needed in a variety of areas. CHRIS offers volunteers an opportunity to choose the type, duration and intensity of their involvement. Since there are many ways to help children, CHRIS matches volunteers with opportunities that are rewarding to everyone. Some volunteer projects are:

Mentoring: Work and play with one child by being a "special friend." Some mentors have said, "This is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I became a mentor to help a child, but I am the one getting all the benefit. CHRIS certainly found the best use of my time I can see the difference it has made in the child." The mentoring time commitment is at least 8 hours per month for a minimum of 6 months. Training is provided and required.

Skill Training: Older children in the program need volunteers to work with them in developing life skills such as money management, cooking, shopping, etc. Time commitment varies.

Job Skills Instruction: Assist young people in learning how to fill out a job application, go to an interview and follow-up on potential employment opportunities. Assist in helping them understand and acquire the skills needed in various occupations. Time commitment varies.

Gardening Projects: Help to set up and maintain a vegetable or flower garden at one of the CHRIS Homes. (The fancy name for this is "horticultural therapy!").

Fund a Hobby or Talent: Help raise funds to provide the important "extras" that CHRIS children need–items such as musical instruments, art supplies, sports equipment, etc. Participate in special events as a volunteer in a variety of capacities or help solicit sponsors. Volunteers may do their own project or join with the CHRIS staff.

Music/Art/Hobby Lessons: Teach children the skills necessary to enjoy various hobbies. Help children develop special skills. CHRIS has pianos in several homes ready for eager children to learn to play.

Tutors: Children entering CHRIS are usually below grade level in school. Tutors are needed for all grade levels through high school, and for preparing youth for the GED or SAT exams.

Group Projects: Work in the yard, landscape, paint, build a play area and complete other projects at the homes. These are ideal for one day events and, if done on the weekends or summers, provide opportunities to work along side the children.

Become a Member of a Rainbow or ILP Team: Help youth in a variety of ways by joining a team such as the Job Team, Recreation Team or Special Occasion Team. Team members offer help to youth transitioning into total independence.

Befriend A Home Projects: There are a number of ways you can enhance Home life.
• Celebrate birthdays with residents. Provide a birthday cake and small gift for a child celebrating a birthday.
• Provide school supplies. Children need school supplies all during the school year.
• Bring dinner to a group home. Show support for children by helping to relieve staff of the daily chore of making an evening meal for residents. One meal a month can make a huge difference.
• Night at the movies. Provide movie passes for a group home once a month. Recreation money is often in short supply and a trip to the movies provides a special treat to the children and staff.
• Store Gift Certificates. Provide gift certificates to various stores such as: Old Navy, Wal-Mart, and Target. Help is needed to keep up with children constantly growing out of their clothing.

These are only a few of the ways you can help. If you can volunteer to help CHRIS children or youth, or have other ideas for projects, please contact:

Melody Neal
CHRIS Homes, Inc.
1447 Peachtree St., Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30309