Faculty/ Staff Volunteer Service Paid Time Off
Discerning Where To Serve
Creighton offers paid time off for volunteer service in support of the Catholic, Jesuit mission of Creighton University. As Father Dennis Hamm writes in The Union of Minds and Hearts: Celebrating the Spiritual Roots of Creighton University: “We were created by a loving God to find our purpose by using our gifts in the service of one another. As a community of learning and faith, Creighton university is ever mindful of this responsibility.”
As faculty and staff discern how to use these hours and who to partner with, employees are encouraged to seek opportunities that embody the Jesuit mission of “men and women for and with others” and the Catholic Social Teaching principle of a “preferential option for the poor and vulnerable.” Creighton cannot approve of partners that are outside of the priorities of the Catholic Church.
Using Ignatian focus can also narrow our preference to serving for and with those who are most in need of assistance or are on the margins of culture. When possible, there is a preference to make an on-going commitment to an organization to help increase capacity and make a lasting impact. The Jesuit’s Universal Apostolic Preferences may also help guide those who are deciding how they would like to use their time (To show the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment; To walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice; To accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future; To collaborate in the care of our Common Home.)
What the Policy Is
The complete policy can be found here. Eligible employees can volunteer up to 16 hours a year. Hours must be approved by your supervisor and if there are questions on whether a site can be approved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Be A Good Volunteer and Reflection Resources
Schedule ahead of time with the agency you wish to work with, commit, and show up early. Research about the mission and programs of any community partner you are working with. Local Community Engagement is mutual, reciprocal and a partnership. Consider how your service can achieve this. When possible, consistent and regular volunteers are always appreciated by partners.In the Ignatian tradition, it’s important to end each service experience with reflection. This can be with a group you served with or individual reflection on your own. Find some resources to get you started here.
Are you organizing service for a group or would you like more resources on leading reflection? See our Staff handout- Preparing for community engagement.
A Few Suggestions to get you Started
United Way website to search for local partners
Hands On Greater Phoenix provides a list of volunteer opportunities
Mentor a youth with TeamMates
Catholic Social Services in Hastings
Give Hastings provides a list of community non-profits
Check out the link for a list of local volunteer opportunities (not exhaustive). The opportunities for connecting with a focus area you are passionate about (education, immigration, homelessness, hunger, health care, youth) are endless.
Youth Mentorship- Mentorship opportunities are still available in a virtual setting and mentors are needed now more than ever. A great opportunity for long-term relational service. Studies also show youth with mentors are more likely to be successful in school, leaders in their communities, and to enter young adulthood with opportunities for ongoing education and career choices. And yet, one in three youth will reach the age of 19 without having had a mentor of any kind. MENTOR Nebraska is an umbrella organization that can connect you to one of their many partners to find your perfect fit with an Omaha youth. Member programs include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girls Inc., Ollie Webb Center and more. For more information, or to begin the process of being a mentor, email email@example.com or call 402-715-4164.
Adult Education (English as a Second Language, GED classes)- Located conveniently on-campus, the TRiO Educational Opportunity Center serves low-income adults, helping them advance their education goals through GED and ESL classes, resume and financial aid assistance and much more. The EOC is looking for volunteers to help during GED and ESL classes, Monday- Wednesday, any time between 9:30-1pm. Volunteering as an individual tutor or leading a workshop (Financial literacy, money management, etc.) is also welcome. For more information, contact the Outreach Coordinator, Dasha at firstname.lastname@example.org, (402) 280-3300, or visit their website.
Affordable Housing- Habitat for Humanity of Omaha is a grassroots organization that builds and renovates houses, forges community partnerships and breaks down barriers. If you are looking for a team volunteer project this could be a great option. A volunteer day may include: framing, deconstruction, siding, drywall, painting, finish carpentry, pre-close cleaning, landscaping, etc. No experience is necessary. Builds are available Wednesday-Saturday, year round and a full work day is from 8:30-3:30. For more information, contact Marlee Huen email@example.com (402) 457-5657 or visit their website.
More questions? Speak with your supervisor or contact Becca Huju at the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice.