What do Compeer volunteers do?
The Compeer Program matches adults who are living with mental illness with community volunteers to create intentional friendships with the goal of reducing isolation and loneliness. You will meet with your friend on a regular basis at mutually convenient times to share activities you both enjoy, such as movies, sports, going for walks in good weather, shopping or coffee and a chat, or many of the free activities available in the Iowa City/Johnson County area. You and your new friend will spend about an hour together once a week (or 2 hours every two weeks). We need volunteers across the adult age and gender spectrum (though our minimum volunteer age is 23). Training, ongoing education and support are provided by the Compeer staff.
Compeer volunteers are rewarded by the knowledge that they are making a positive difference in someone’s life. The friendships formed by Compeer often become as important and enriching to the volunteer as it is to the client. They soon forget the classifications and begin to relate to each other as peers. Each person has gained a new friend with whom to enjoy and explore different aspects of life, learn from, and grow with.
What Happens After I Send in my Application?
When we receive your application form we will contact you for an interview appointment. We'll send reference request letters to the people you have listed on your appociation, do a background check, and schedule a Volunteer Training Workshop for you to attend. After the workshop volunteers choose their Compeer friend based on mutual interests. Respecting the confidentiality of our clients, volunteers are given only the particpant's first name until meeting with and being approved by the client's mental health professional (MHP).
The volunteer and the MHP meet to review information about the potential friend and evaluate whether they think this will be a good match. If the MHP agrees, the director, the volunteer, and the client meet to introduce the new pair. You will meet with your friend on a regular basis at mutually convenient times to share activities you both enjoy, such as movies, sports, going for walks in good weather, shopping or coffee and a chat, or many of the free activities available in the Iowa City/Johnson County area. Through the gift of your friendship, you will gain a sense of satisfaction and personal growth and have the opportunity to help another person.
As a Compeer volunteer, you will join thousands across the country who come from all walks of life, all races, all religions, and from both urban neighborhoods and rural communities. Training, ongoing education, and support are provided by the Compeer staff.