When you have been ordered to complete community service by the court, it is important to understand that not all volunteer opportunities will be suitable to meet their requirements.  In most cases, the volunteer opportunities that will be approved will be non-profit organizations that hold a 501(3)(c).  If your plans are to volunteer with a for-profit agency or company it is important to know that you will be required to have court approval before you begin your volunteer work.

Still, even with nonprofits there are very strict requirements that will have to be met before the court will approve your volunteer work.  There can be many variables to consider including the type of sentencing faced, the nature of the offense, and the background of the individual volunteering.  Therefore, it is always important to check with the court beforehand to ensure that the organization you choose to work with will meet the requirements of your specific court order.  Below are several possible options for volunteer services that you might want to consider in order to meet your court ordered obligations.

The Men’s Shelter of Charlotte

The focus of the Men’s Shelter is to help homeless families to rebuild their lives, assist at-risk youths, tutor disadvantaged children, provide food for the hungry, or even care for the environment.  The Men’s Shelter has a number of volunteer opportunities that may fit your court-ordered requirement.  They are a nonprofit volunteer service that works directly within the community to strengthen Charlotte and enrich the lives of its disadvantaged citizens.

For more information about volunteering or to apply, contact Jennifer Coates Hall, the Community Resource Coordinator at (704) 334-3187 x 103 or email her at [email protected]

The Samaritan House

Another way to complete your court requirements would be to volunteer for the Samaritan House.  They work closely with the court system to meet both in-state requirements as well as under certain circumstances provide opportunities for out-of-state courts.  Depending on your skills and abilities you could be assigned to do anything from preparing meals to yard work.  It is important for you to review their Court Ordered Community Service policy before you submit your application to make sure that you meet their requirements.

For additional information about their volunteer opportunities and requirements you can phone them at (704) 333-0110 or visit their website at http://www.thesamaritanhouse.org/volunteers/volunteer-sign-up/

Habitat for Humanity

There are numerous volunteer opportunities at the Charlotte Store for the Habitat for Humanity.  Whether your skills are in the area of construction or working in the store, shipping, sales, or even just phone work, there’ll probably be a job that will fit you perfectly.  Even if training is needed, there are opportunities for you to develop new skills and abilities that could not only allow you to complete your court ordered requirement but also train you for a new career.

If you have any questions regarding volunteering for the Habitat for Humanity and how to complete your obligations to the court contact the ReStore Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected] or call (704) 716-7040 ext. 2230.

If you have been sentenced to complete a court-ordered community service requirement, rather than look at it as a penalty that must be paid, consider it as an opportunity to immerse yourself in your community and a means of taking an active role in your new life.  This way, the rewards will be able to benefit you as well as those you serve.

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