Volunteer Handbook


The information contained in this manual will provide you with general guidelines and policies that apply to all Faribault Area Senior Center (Buckham West) volunteers. This manual provides the structure that is needed in order for the Buckham West to operate in an efficient, safe and organized manner. You are a great resource to the Faribault Area Senior Center and are appreciated for the work and time that you give.

Please read the manual carefully and if you have any questions, please contact your program supervisor or Senior Center staff member.

Senior Center Staff:

Mona Kaiser
Executive Director

Brenda Johnson
Program Coordinator

Deb Kauffmann
Business Office Support Staff

Kathy Dodds
Clothes Closet Manager

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Volunteer’s Rights

The Volunteer Bill of Rights will guide you in your service as a volunteer. It is your obligation to ensure that your rights are respected and to bring it to the attention of your program supervisor or Buckham West staff member if they are not.

It is your right:

  • To be assigned a task that is worthwhile and challenging, having real purpose and contributing to the organization’s mission.
  • To receive a suitable assignment with consideration for personal preference, temperament and life experiences.
  • To receive the orientation, training and supervision needed to do the job.
  • To be treated with respect and as an equal partner within the organization.
  • To be trusted with confidential information necessary to carry out your assignment.
  • To be kept informed about relevant matters within the organization.
  • To ask any questions that will clarify a task or assignment.
  • To be heard and to give the organization input or relevant feedback

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Volunteer’s Responsibilities

In addition to the rights that you have as a volunteer for the Faribault Area Senior Center, you have responsibilities as well. Recognizing and fulfilling these responsibilities enhances your volunteer experience.

It is your responsibility:

  • Not to take on more responsibility than you can handle.
  • To meet the time commitment that you have agreed to, be prompt and reliable when reporting for your scheduled service.
  • To notify the organization in advance of absences or schedule changes that may affect them.
  • To perform the tasks assigned to you to the best of your ability.
  • To provide input and constructive feedback to your program supervisor, thus increasing the effectiveness of the program.
  • To follow organizational policies and procedures.
  • To be open-minded and respectful toward opinions shared with you.
  • To be able to work with a diverse population, respecting cultural differences.
  • To respect the confidentiality of everyone you serve.
  • To carry out your assignments in good spirit and seek the assistance of your supervisor in any situations that require special guidance.
  • To accept the right of Buckham West to dismiss a volunteer for poor performance, including poor attendance.
  • To give written or verbal notice if you are unable to continue in your volunteer position.

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Volunteer Policies

Discrimination Policy

It is the policy of the Faribault Area Senior Citizens, Inc. to provide service to all older persons and to any one seeking service on behalf of an older person without regard to race, color, national origin, handicap, or economic status.

The same requirements are applied to all and there is no distinction ineligibility for or in the manner of providing services.

All persons and organizations having occasion either to refer persons for services or to recommend our services are advised to do so without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, handicap, or economic status.

The person designated to coordinate with SECTION 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (nondiscrimination against the handicapped) is the Buckham West, Inc. Director – Mona Kaiser

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Dismissal Policy

Faribault Area Senior Center volunteers have excellent records of service. Sometimes, however, a small percentage of people may cause difficulties. For this reason the following list of causes for dismissal must be listed:

  • Failure to comply with accepted standards of personal hygiene
  • Tardiness or absences of a repeated nature which interferes with the functioning of Senior Center programs
  • Acting in a profane, threatening or argumentative behavior
  • Conviction of a felony and possession, attempted sale, use or distribution of narcotics or alcoholic beverages while on assignment.
  • Dissatisfaction with volunteer performance
  • Failure to comply with organizational and nondiscrimination policies
  • Incompatibility with the program staff or other volunteers
  • Not maintaining confidentiality

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Grievance Policy

The purpose of a grievance policy is to provide a procedure to assure that a grievance raised by a volunteer will be reviewed and resolved. The following steps will be taken if you file a grievance:

  1. Notify your program supervisor of your complaint. Your supervisor will document the concern, sign and date it. If a resolution has not been agreed to, then move to the next step.
  2. The current Faribault Area Senior Center Executive Director will meet with you and your supervisor. The meeting will be documented and all parties attending will sign the document. If a resolution has not been agreed to, then move to the next step.
  3. If your concern is not resolved, you may request to meet with representatives from the Buckham West Board of Directors. The decision of the Board Committee is final.
  4. The goal of this policy is to resolve all grievances in a timely manner.

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Volunteer Program Guidelines

Volunteer Age
There is no age requirement to volunteer at Buckham West, although most volunteer opportunities are more suited to older adults. There are certain volunteer tasks on an “as needed” basis that are often reserved for younger volunteers (i.e. painting, yard work, etc.)

Volunteer Membership
Although volunteers of the Senior Center are not required to be Senior Center members, it is highly encouraged. We realize that your gift of time is a valuable contribution, but a paid
membership shows a higher level of support of the organization’s mission and a commitment to the work being done.

Volunteer Dress
Please remember that Buckham West is a professional organization and your appearance may be the first impression a person has. We ask that you dress appropriately.

Volunteer Reimbursement
A volunteer should not expect to receive any form of payment or benefits unless agreed upon before service begins.

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Emergency Plan

This Emergency Action Plan is intended to provide guidelines on general evacuation and means of exit along with inclement weather procedures that will help provide protection against: injury to building occupants, damage to property, and disruption of operations. All volunteers should become familiar with the provisions of this plan.

Emergency Evacuation

  1. All occupants of Buckham West shall evacuate the building when notified by fire alarm or verbal communication. Once notified you shall proceed to the nearest safe exit. Exit locations are clearly marked by lighted signs above doors.
  2. Once you have safely evacuated the building, proceed to the designated meeting place: Across Division Street in City Parking Lot.
  3. Senior Center and Senior Dining staff will account for their personnel and any known visitors. They will notify emergency services of any persons unable to evacuate the building safely.
  4. Re-enter the building only when instructed by emergency services as safe to do so.

Fire Emergency

  1. The first person aware of a fire shall alert other occupants by activating the fire alarm system and shouting “FIRE”. The alarm system will automatically contact the Law Enforcement Center to dispatch the Emergency Personnel.
  2. The fire doors will close automatically. Leave them closed.
  3. Begin evacuating the building immediately; assist others as long as it does not put you in harms way. Close doors once everyone has evacuated if safe to do so. Once safely evacuated go to your meeting point (Across Division Street in City Parking Lot)
  4. Should the fire be located and if it is small, staff may attempt to extinguish it utilizing the closest fire extinguisher, otherwise staff should close the door to isolate it.
  5. Never re-enter the building.

Medical Emergency

  1. Call or instruct someone to call 911 immediately. Make sure to tell the dispatcher your location, (Faribault Area Senior Center at 19 Division St. W-), nature of the injury/illness, along with the victim’s age, sex and any known medical information.
  2. Faribault Area Senior Center staff has been trained in CPR, First Aid, and use of Automatic External defibrillators (AED). The AED is located in the storage unit on the wall across from the receptionist’s desk, above the fire extinguisher.
  3. Keep all non-essential individuals away from the scene.
  4. If available, post a person at the entrance to assist Emergency Personnel to find the victim.
  5. Report incident to Staff who will fill out incident form.

Severe Weather

  1. If weather looks threatening, Staff should monitor conditions and listen for warning to be given on Emergency Radio.
  2. If a tornado watch is posted, notify building occupants of the watch and continue monitoring.
  3. If a tornado warning is posted all building occupants should proceed immediately to the “Safe Area” which is the Men/Women’s locker rooms in the Community Center. Go through the hallway that joins the centers, enter through first blue door on left.
  4. Staff will monitor Emergency Radio for change in conditions.
  5. Upon notification of “All Clear” signal, Staff will access damage and instruct occupants to exit “Safe Area”.

Hazardous Material/Chemical Spills

  1. If a large spill occurs, 911 should be called and all occupants should exit building and go to meeting point (Across Division Street in City Parking Lot);
  2. Follow the procedures identified by emergency response personnel.
  3. Once the spill has been controlled, building occupants will be notified of when to return to the building.

Power Failure

  1. In the event of a power failure emergency lights should automatically turn on.
  2. Staff persons should immediately retrieve flash lights
  3. Check immediately for persons in the restrooms as they will be in total darkness. All available staff should then check all areas.
  4. Request that all remain where they are until light can be provided.
  5. Monitor emergency radio, located in the business office, for reports of power repair.

Natural Gas Leak

  1. Gas Leaks are identified by an odor similar to rotten eggs. Do not use electronic devices or light switches.
  2. Evacuate building immediately and move upwind from odor.
  3. Once evacuated, call 911.

Armed or Dangerous Person

  1. Call 911 immediately; provide location, type of incident, and description of person.
  2. Notify others if possible, do not use fire alarm.
  3. Remain in office, lock all doors and windows or evacuate building if safe to do so.
  4. Remain in office or away from building until directed by emergency response personnel.

This emergency plan is designed to be a quick reference guide for Senior Center volunteers and staff.

Additional Emergency Planning Guidelines have been prepared for the entire Buckham Center and are available from the Executive Director.

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Index of Volunteer Job Descriptions

Board of Directors
Clothes Closet Team and Shift Manager
Computer Instructor/Technician
Creative Crafts Coordinator
Exercise Instructor
Flower Basket Waterer and Leader
Front Desk Receptionist
Funeral Escort Driver and Program Coordinator
Health Care Directive Advisor
Kitchen Band
Newsletter Assembly and Coordinator
Recycled Card Makers
Snouse Card Party Coordinator

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Board of Directors

Objective: to act as part of the governing body and help to provide leadership of the Faribault Area Senior Citizens, Inc


  • Attend all regularly schedule monthly Board meetings and Annual Membership Meeting
  • Attend a New Board Member Orientation
  • Read Board packet information prior to each meeting and be prepared to discuss and make decisions on agenda items
  • Assist with any of Buckham West sponsored fundraisers on an as-needed basis
  • Assist with a committee that meets on an “as-needed” or regular basis. Committees may include: Programming, Maintenance, Personnel, Finance and Nominating

Qualifications: be a paid member of Buckham West, commit to attending regularly scheduled Board meetings

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Clothes Closet Team

Objective: To aid in the processing and selling of donated wearable items


  1. Accept and adhere to the policies of the Clothes Closet and guidance of Manager
  2. Report to shift on time or find a substitute. Notify shift manager of any absence and whom will be there in replacement
  3. Sign in and out on the volunteer log sheet
  4. Be friendly and courteous and maintain dignity for all. Respect their ethnic and religious differences and honor confidential information.
  5. Examine each item and choose only those items that meet the high standards. Follow the sorting guidelines as defined in work area.
  6. Prepare each chosen garment for display on sales floor, keeping special attention to details.
  7. Keep the store and work room neat at all times and clean up after your shift.
  8. Be aware of signs and place items in their appropriate places.
  9. Keep exits and fire lanes free of any obstacles.
  10. Encouraged to attend volunteer meetings.

Additional Responsibilities for Shift Manager

  1. Open or close the store as needed
  2. Operate the cash register and figure day-end deposit
  3. Following pricing guidelines as defined
  4. Take personal information (i.e. license #, DOB, etc.) when accepting checks
  5. Process vouchers by filling in all pertinent information
  6. Keep your shift volunteers up to date with new information and procedures.
  7. Required to attend volunteer meetings.

All volunteers: Work well with other shift members, interest in helping others, ability to
follow directions, good eye sight, appropriate dress, paid member of Buckham West (recommended)
Additional for Shift Managers: ability to operate cash register and accurately make change

Accountable to: Clothes Closet Manager

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Computer Instructor/Technician

Objective: To provide computer instruction and technical support to senior adults


  1. Teach computer classes as needed using Buckham West computer lab
  2. Help design and implement new classes
  3. Facilitate Open Lab sessions as scheduled
  4. Assist with computer lab maintenance
  5. Maintain course records
  6. Provide in-home technical support as requested

Qualifications: Computer knowledge, ability to work with adult learners, ability to problem solve, interest in designing new programs

Accountable to: Buckham West Executive Director

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Creative Crafts Coordinator

Objective: to provide service to Buckham West by organizing and supervising a bi-monthly craft group


  • Arrange tables and chairs
  • Prepare coffee, set up and serve
  • Clean up Senior Center following event

Qualifications: be a paid member of Buckham West, be able to adhere to a fixed time schedule, commit to bi-monthly schedule or find a suitable substitute in your place

Accountable to: Buckham West Executive Director

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Exercise Instructor

Objective: to lead other Senior Center members in a one hour long exercise class


  • To prepare class equipment necessary prior to class
  • To direct class participants in a moderate level of exercises
  • To adhere to a fixed time schedule
  • To find your own replacement or notify Buckham West staff if you expect to be absent

Qualifications: to be a paid member of Buckham West, to be able to perform moderate physical activity for up to one hour

Accountable to: Buckham West Executive Director

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Flower Basket Waterers

Objective: To provide service to the Senior Center by applying water to city owned flower baskets in the downtown area.


  1. Safely operate a Buckham West owned golf cart through downtown area
  2. Report to senior center at a pre-determined time to pick up golf cart
  3. Work with a partner- one to drive cart and one to operate the watering wand
  4. Stop at each flower basket to apply water
  5. Return cart after shift and re-fill water tank for next day

Additional Duties for Leader:
Maintain golf cart- charge battery, check tires, arrange for other repair maintenance
Coordinate with city for fertilizer and other supplies

Qualifications: Ability to safely operate a golf cart, must be able to repeatedly raise watering wand above head

Accountable to: Team Leader, Senior Center Director and Faribault Park and Rec Director

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Funeral Escort Driver

Objective: To provide safe transit of funeral procession from funeral service to cemetery site.

Duties of Drivers:

  • Work with a partner- one to drive vehicle, one to display a hand held stop sign
  • Pick up city owned vehicle at Police Department, perform pre-trip safety check, which includes signal lights, etc.
  • Report to funeral service site and funeral director
  • Confirm funeral procession route
  • Take position as lead vehicle of funeral procession
  • Proceed in a safe manner, operating at a slow speed in order to allow all procession vehicles to remain together
  • Once procession has arrived at cemetery, return vehicle to Police station and drop off keys

Additional Duties of Program Coordinator:

  • Act as contact between funeral home and volunteer drivers
  • Communicate schedule and funeral location details with volunteer
  • Locate two volunteers to act as escorts
  • Maintain volunteer schedule
  • Maintain list of funerals and turn in to Buckham West office at the end of each month

Qualifications: Driver must hold valid MN Drivers’ License, must have ability to safe driving
decisions, must adhere to fixed time schedule

Accountable to: Program Coordinator and Buckham West Executive Director

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Health Care Directive Advisor

Objective: to provide assistance to area residents who are seeking help in creating a Health Care Directive


  1. Be available monthly for scheduled appointments with clients
  2. Guide client through the prepared materials which have been created to write their own Health Care Directive

Qualifications: commit to monthly appointment schedule (or contact business office if going to be absent), have ability to maintain confidential information, keep current on any Health Care Directive changes

Accountable to: Buckham West Executive Director

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Kitchen Band Members

Objective: to participate in the Buckham West sponsored Kitchen Band rehearsals and scheduled


  • Attend monthly band rehearsals and scheduled band performances
  • Bring along necessary “instruments”
  • Sing or play instrument following director’s lead

Additional Duties for Leader:

  • Prepare music to be worked on at rehearsals and performances
  • Schedule requests for performances
  • Coordinate performances with band members

Qualifications: be a paid member of Buckham West, commit to monthly
rehearsals and attend scheduled performances, have ability to keep time and follow director’s lead

Accountable to: Band Director and Buckham West Executive Director

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Newsletter Assembly

Objective: To help with the mailing of a bi-monthly newsletter


  1. Report to Buckham West dining room as scheduled
  2. Work as a group to insert pages, seal and label newsletter

Additional Duties for Coordinator:

  1. Maintain list of available volunteers
  2. Coordinate assembly date with Buckham West Business Office Secretary
  3. Contact volunteers, providing time and date to them
  4. Assembles needed supplies and brings to assembly site

Qualifications: Ability to follow directions, must have ability to use fine motor skills for up to one hour

Accountable to: Newsletter coordinator and Buckham West Business Office Secretary

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Objective: To provide support to Buckham West by staffing the front desk and handling basic office tasks.


  1. Answer the telephone, including transferring calls and taking messages
  2. Greet members and visitors as they enter
  3. Answer questions on upcoming events and programs
  4. Handle program, class, trip and special event registrations
  5. Receive money that corresponds to registered event
  6. Prepare mailings as requested by Buckham West staff members
  7. Make reminder phone calls to registered program participants

Qualifications: be a paid member of Buckham West, have ability to handle phone system which includes transferring of phone calls, ability to accurately receive program fees and make change as needed, pleasant manner necessary to welcome members and visitors to the center, appropriate dress

Training: One-on-one orientation will be arranged with a current receptionist to become familiar with phones and front desk tasks

Accountable to: Business Office Secretary

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Recycled Card Makers

Objective: to utilize donated greeting cards and turn them into a “new” card which will be re-sold for a profit


  • Pick up supplies necessary for creating a new card, including: card stock, glue, scissors and donated greeting cards
  • Work may be done at Senior Center or at home
  • Return completed cards to Senior Center to be stamped with Buckham West stamp
  • Place completed cards on rack for sale

Qualifications: be a paid member of Buckham West, receive instruction on how to create a recycled card from a current card maker, be able to creatively assemble a clean, saleable card

Accountable to: Buckham West Executive Director

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Snouse Card Party Coordinator

Objective: to provide service to Buckham West by organizing and supervising a
monthly card party


  • Obtain necessary keys for opening Senior Center, return following event
  • Set up tables and card supplies
  • Secure volunteers to assist with card play and to donate refreshments
  • Prepare coffee, set up and serve refreshments
  • Clean up Senior Center following event

Qualifications: be a paid member of Buckham West, be able to adhere to a fixed time schedule, commit to monthly schedule or find a suitable substitute

Accountable to: Buckham West Executive Director

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