Current Volunteers

Volunteer Hours Report

  • Please enter the dates, hours, and a brief description of your volunteer hours.

Volunteer Policies

Volunteer Hours

Fill out the form at the top of this page! Every hour counts. Many philanthropic funders look for volunteer hours reporting as a measure of program excellence. When you share your hours with us, you help sustain our services. Please submit the form by the 5th of the month.

Invite friends to volunteer with Vision Loss Resources

Ask them to email volunteer@vlrw.org or call (612) 871-2222. We’ll get them started with the application process and find the right volunteer role for them!

Volunteer reimbursement

As a Vision Loss Resources volunteer, you are eligible for mileage reimbursement for driving, mass transit, or Metro Mobility to and from your active volunteer assignment.

When you report your volunteer hours, indicate your round-trip miles or mass transit costs to and from your volunteer assignment.  Other expenses may be eligible for reimbursement. For example, if you join your client for an occasional coffee or snack, you can request reimbursement. Please ask if you are unsure. You will be requested to submit receipts. Please turn in mileage in a timely manner. Mileage submitted after 3 months will no longer be eligible for reimbursement. Thank you for understanding.

In an effort to create a more sustainable program, you are responsible for paying for their own meal at an activity (i.e. at Lunch Bunch, Supper Club, etc.).  Please save your receipt and send it in when you report your hours.  VLR will reimburse you $10 towards your meal!

Reimbursement checks are requested on the second week of the month.  (Volunteer hours are requested by the 5th day of the month.) Checks are usually prepared and mailed the 3rd week of each month. Please note: checks are prepared in rotation with payroll and other expenses. This schedule is subject to change. Additionally, reimbursement requests for less than $10.00 will be held until either the total request is greater than $10.00. This policy reduces administrative costs.

Parking at Vision Loss Resources

At our Minneapolis office, parking is available near Lyndale Ave and the front door. If you are heading north on Lyndale, take a left on Franklin (westbound) and take the first right on Aldrich Ave S. Follow to the end of the street and continue to the right down the hill to our lower lot.

At our Saint Paul office, please use the back entrance at 215 Starkey Ave to park and to enter the building.

Volunteering at events

If an event you have signed up to volunteer for is cancelled for any reason other than weather, a staff member will contact you to let you know. If there is a threat of bad weather, please check the Hotline to learn about any cancellations. Cancellations will be updated by 6:15 a.m.

Financial Matters Form

If you are a Volunter Shopper, or otherwise assisting in any financial transaction, use the Financial Matters Form and the signature guide you received at orientation.

Client budgets

It is not your responsibility to manage your client’s finances. However, it may be helpful if the client is on a fixed income if you offer to help them track the costs. A good question to ask at one of your first visits is “Do you have a budget you are trying to stay within at the store today?” Then you know what to suggest if for example they need a can of black beans but have a very limited budget.

Shopping with clients

Volunteers should never pay for items for a client. Help them determine what items to put back to meet their budget. Make suggestions if they seem unsure and help figure out the math. If you notice they are keeping things that are not a necessity ask questions like “Gosh, how much do cigarettes/magazines/lottery tickets cost? Would it help you get more food if you went without those right now?” Or, if you have heard them talk in such a way, “I remember you saying you wanted more _____ in your diet, so maybe you should keep those and put back _____.” Ultimately it is their choice on what items they do purchase, just work to help them reach a compromise in these situations with their budget.

Clients using money

Organizing and folding the bills in various ways can allow a person with vision loss to identify their paper money by touch. Some clients will not need assistance in doing monetary transactions and some may request your help identifying bills or coins. Just be receptive to their needs and offer assistance.

Each person may have a unique way of organizing their money. If you observe that the client seems to be struggling, ask if they have a way to organize their money that works for them. You may learn their unique system. Or you may learn that they don’t have a system at all; in that case, let them know that Vision Loss Resources specialists can provide training on money organization.

Emergencies

  1. Call 911. Provide needed information to emergency personnel to assist client. Ask your client if they have a preferred hospital they go to.
  2. After 911 hangs up with you, if possible, ask your client if they would like you to contact a family member or friend. Or look on your Request Form for their Emergency Contact person.
  3. Call Vision Loss Resources right away and alert staff. (612) 871-2222 or (651) 224-7662. You can speak to any Community Services or Volunteer Program staff. If the offices are closed, please leave a message. The staff will assist in following up with the client’s emergency contacts and the client themselves as soon as the message is received.
  4. Volunteers are only required to call 911 in the event of an emergency. Providing any emergency medical care is at the discretion of the volunteer. For volunteers who drive, refer to the ‘What To Do in Case of an Accident’ sheet you received at your orientation.