Volunteer with Create Now
Volunteering is rewarding and helps build healthy, sustainable communities, thereby empowering individuals.
We offer mentors the chance to share their knowledge and experience with the kids who need it the most in our community. Many of our mentors feel more fulfilled and happier with their careers, since their lives take on special meaning.
Our volunteers report that they also get along better with their own families after mentoring these youth and find themselves becoming more patient, open-minded and better prepared to deal with challenges.
Most of our partner agencies require mentors who work with the children to be at least 21-years-old. However, Create Now always needs help with fundraising and some other tasks.
Keep reading to learn more
PLEASE NOTE: YOU MAY NOT FULFILL COURT-ORDERED COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS BY VOLUNTEERING AT CREATE NOW.
We have three main volunteer opportunities:
Working with Youth – Arts mentoring
By focusing on the arts, such as music, writing, dance or painting, it’s often easier to get kids to open up. Youth build their confidence and self-esteem by accomplishing their goal of engaging in the arts, while keeping souvenirs of the experience. This is equally rewarding for the mentors, as they share their expertise and give back to the neediest children in our community.
Helping Create Now – Strategic Projects and Marketing
There are many ways to help Create Now, such as by serving on one of our committees (Fundraising, Marketing/PR, Strategic Planning and Finance), or perhaps on our Board of Directors. Support is also needed for tasks like organizing our arts supplies storage room or assisting with special events and marketing.
Working with Youth – Life Skills Mentoring
By donating just an hour of your time each week, you can make a difference in our world. By mentoring a small group of youth as a Life Skills Mentor, volunteers help the kids to learn basic survival, including how to apply to college, find an apartment, interview for jobs, open a bank account and start their own business. Taking your mentee(s) on fun outings also makes them aware of opportunities in their neighborhood.
Is there a long-term commitment?
We customize Create Now’s programs to have the maximum effect in the shortest period of time since many of the youth we serve are often moved around or released. Therefore, we can usually organize a project based on your timetable, including opportunities to help out through fun one-time events. We’ve learned that even just one meeting between a volunteer and a group of youth can have a positive effect. Some of the kids may be inspired to change their behavior, or motivated to pursue a particular career. Even though Create Now’s focus is on small group mentoring projects, there are times when one-on-one mentoring relationships evolve naturally through Create Now programs.
How much time do you require to be a mentor for a group?
Create Now makes it easy for volunteers to give back based on your schedule. If you want to teach a class one time for an hour, not a problem! What about twice a week for two months. We can make it happen. We organize a party with gift bags for the kids so when your workshop ends, you all have closure. This way, you can complete your project and the youth have a sense of accomplishment. This also allows our mentors flexibility. After the workshop is completed, volunteers might decide to work with the same kids, start a new workshop with a different group of youth, or end it because of personal time constraints, without the children feeling abandoned. Each program is tailored to the volunteer’s and children’s needs and some projects go on for longer periods of time, including several years. We also arrange “Mini-Tours” where you can mentor a different group of youth each week at a variety of facilities.
What types of skills are you looking for mentors to have?
Experience in any of the arts are welcome, even as a hobbyist. We can also help you teach simple Arts and Crafts workshops that don’t require any specific talents. Younger children enjoy storytelling, coloring or to just play games. The greatest aptitudes that mentors need are patience and dependability. For those volunteers without an artistic expertise, you can become a Life Skills Mentor, teaching financial literacy, college opportunities and job interview techniques to a group of youth.
How many children are there per class?
We usually limit the arts workshops to no more than 12, but on average it is 5-10 youth. We also hire professional teaching artists with assistants to lead classes that can include up to 35 students.
Do you need teaching credentials to be a mentor?
No. All Create Now volunteers need is commitment, responsibility and passion to help youth in need. We’ll assist you to develop a structured curriculum and provide you with sample lesson plans in writing, music, art, etc. if needed. Create Now will also supply the materials and equipment.
Do you train your mentors?
Yes. All mentors receive an orientation and a comprehensive Mentor Training Manual. We also hold seminar training throughout the year for our volunteers, which includes an opportunity to network with other mentors, share ideas and learn about our other programs. Most of the youth facilities that Create Now serves require that our volunteers also attend their agency orientations or training sessions.
Do mentors get paid?
Since Create Now is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, every dollar we spend is crucial. We’re hopeful that you will donate your time free of charge. Some of our programs offer a stipend to volunteers to cover expenses. Create Now does hire experienced artists who have taught youth in schools.