The Community Resource Room Volunteer/Internship Program
The Community Resource Room (CRR) Volunteer/Internship Program is a dynamic opportunity to assist low-income women in learning the skills necessary to create a decent livelihood for themselves and their families and navigate a technology-driven society.
Located in the large muraled Women’s Building of the Mission District, the CRR is open to the public and provides a web of free services for low-income women and others who support the goals of TWB. Programs offered by the CRR include access to technology, free income tax preparation, financial advice information and referrals, job search assistance, a food pantry for immigrants, and low-cost legal advice. All services are provided in both English and Spanish by staff and a committed group of volunteers.
The Volunteer/Internship Program is a unique opportunity to become part of the CRR team, work in a lively space, meet diverse people, and be of assistance to those in need. Through the program, volunteers get a valuable hands-on experience in an active environment where they are able to interact with a diverse community and see first-hand the needs of the Mission District neighborhood.
Dilia Ortega, a past volunteer and student, stresses the importance of being able to connect directly with women in need, as she did in the CRR. She believes that her experience as a volunteer helped her to better understand the harsh effects of a struggling economy on Latina women as opposed to merely reading about them from a textbook as she would in school. “It was eye-opening to have face-to-face interactions with people who are being severely affected by our economy and to hear their personal stories. It is easy for many to get detached from problems facing society and being at the CRR definitely gave me the opportunity to empathize more.”
Past volunteer, Cat Aviña, comments on a dynamic work environment where there is hardly a dull moment in the CRR. “We definitely get a lot more traffic in here than I expected which I am grateful for. I think when you are volunteering sometimes, you don’t get a lot of responsibility and here we are constantly assisting people. Volunteering in the CRR has kept me involved in the local community, aware of local agencies and issues, and has polished my Spanish skills.”
Volunteer, Emilee Kerr, describes her experience working in the CRR as “a really great way to give back to the community and see rewards fairly quickly”. She says, “If someone comes in and is looking for a job, we are able to help them fairly fast. We help them do an internet search and open an email account so they can receive emails from potential jobs. We are able to provide quick service and see the rewards right away. To see your work in fruition is really nice. The Women’s Building draws so many great organizations and services into one space so there is a lot of energy and resources that the community can draw from.”
Lorena Eulogio says: “I have increased my knowledge and learned new skills through networking with other knowledgeable people at the CRR. I have met a diverse range of people from all backgrounds and walks of life. All of them have been a rich source of inspiration and an excellent way to develop my interpersonal skills. I have also learned from my community. As a volunteer, we certainly return to society some of the benefits that society gives us.”
The CRR Internship Program helps provide volunteers with the training necessary to assist clients in a one-on-one basis. All volunteers are bilingual, proficient in both English and Spanish and many are local students with a background in social justice issues.
All must commit to a period of at least 3 months in order to learn about TWB resources and be able to provide necessary information, education, and referrals to a diverse clientele. In addition, volunteers are encouraged to participate in outside training opportunities provided by other CBO’s related to social justice issues and our target population.
If you’d like to learn more about the Community Resource Room and/or how to get involved, please contact Claudia Huenchuleo or Kyle Kubas at: firstname.lastname@example.org.