Volunteer and AmeriCorps FAQ

General Questions 

Are you affiliated with any particular Christian denomination or church?  

Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) is an interdenominational Christian organization. We are an independent nonprofit primarily funded by individual donors and churches rather than a particular denomination. Our volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds and are invited to participate in regular spiritual reflection. Though most are, volunteers are not required to be Christian, and openness to theological diversity is essential for community life.  

What is CAP's reputation in the community?  

Over our 55+ year history, we have developed a good reputation with our donors, volunteers, employees, and participants. But don’t just take our word for it! There are many charities out there, so checking with a watchdog organization is always a good idea. We are very proud of our four-star rating on Charity Navigator and welcome you to review their findings.  

What are the different volunteer options?  

Volunteers can serve as little as one day to as long as one year, and commitment varies by each opportunity. Explore our options or contact us for help with matching you with the best opportunity for your availability.  

 

Questions About CAP Volunteer Corps/AmeriCorps 

How long is the commitment? When can I start? 

Members of CAP Volunteers Corps make a minimum commitment of three weeks, up to one year. Commitments of three months or longer may be eligible for AmeriCorps benefits and a living allowance. We encourage volunteers to begin in January or August, but do offer flexible start dates for volunteers making a commitment of shorter than a year, or One-Year volunteers who are choosing the Local Living option. 

What benefits do you offer? 

Volunteering for an extended period of time is a significant sacrifice for many people, but CAP is able to provide several resources to make service more affordable. We offer room and board in an intentional volunteer community for all volunteers, and as well as travel reimbursement. Eligible volunteers and AmeriCorps members may also qualify for health insurance and a bi-weekly living allowance. AmeriCorps members are also eligible for an Education Award and may be eligible for student loan forbearance. While volunteers are welcome to bring their personal vehicles, CAP provides transportation to and from service sites for volunteers who live in community. Contact us for a complete explanation of benefits by service opportunity.  

What do you mean by living in intentional community? 

Living in community means more than simply sharing living space: it is an intentional commitment to sharing together in the Volunteer Corps pillars of Service, Community, and Spirituality. Volunteer communities share dinner and devotion several nights a week, and all volunteers are invited to participate. 
 
What are the volunteer houses like? 

CAP has six volunteer houses located throughout Eastern Kentucky. All houses have a multiple private bedrooms and shared living room space, kitchen, and bathrooms. The homes have a cable television in the common room as well as Wi-Fi. Meals and chores are coordinated between the volunteers. 

Do I have to live in intentional community? 

Although most volunteers choose to live in our volunteer houses, CAP offers a Local Living option for volunteers and AmeriCorps members who prefer to live on their own. This option includes a living allowance to help defray expenses.  
 
Local Living Volunteers/Members find their own housing and must have transportation to their service sites. Those who choose this option are invited to take part in intentional community by sharing dinner and devotion at a volunteer house at least once a month. Please contact us to learn more. 

 

Who serves with CAP?  

We are blessed to have volunteers and AmeriCorps members from all age groups — from recent high school and college grads to retirees and everyone in between. Our volunteers and members come from our own communities and from all over the United States. They represent many different backgrounds, education levels, professions, and experiences. Their commonality is that they feel called to join us in building hope, transforming lives, and sharing Christ’s love through service in Appalachia. We especially encourage applicants from our Kentucky service counties.  

Can I volunteer with my spouse? My significant other? My children?  

We encourage married couples to serve with us. Both individuals must complete separate applications and be accepted. Unmarried or engaged couples and friends are welcome to serve with us, but they may not live in the same volunteer community. Volunteers with children will want to ask about our Local Living allowance towards their housing as we cannot accommodate them in our volunteer houses. 

Can I bring my pet, service dog, or emotional support animal with me?  

Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate animals in our volunteer houses. Volunteers with pets, service dogs, or emotional support animals may choose our Local Living option and secure their own housing.  

Do I have to apply by a specific date? How long does the application process take?  

One-Year applicants should email volunteer@chrisapp.org for application, interview, and entry details. We encourage short-term Volunteer Corps applicants to apply at least one month in advance of their desired start date. 

What are you looking for in a volunteer or member?  

We are seeking compassionate, self-starting, fast-learning, independent, and mission-driven individuals who possess an exceptional amount of flexibility, maturity, interpersonal skills, and openness to people — both participants and fellow volunteers/members — who may be very different from themselves. Moreover, we’re looking for volunteers and members who are passionate about serving people who are marginalized and living in poverty, and are ready to fully immerse themselves in their service and community. Many of our one-year positions require someone who can drive a CAP vehicle. Because we require our drivers to be 21 or older, our ideal candidate for one-year service placements is 21 or older with a valid driver’s license and a good driving record. We will consider exceptional applicants ages 18‒20, as we do have a limited number of positions available for non-drivers.  

Most of our positions require a moderate to an extensive amount of physical activity and the ability to lift 20–80 pounds. Some positions also require an extensive amount of driving on rural roads. Please contact us to discuss any concerns you may have about our service requirements.  

How likely is it that I will be accepted?  

Our admissions process is thorough by design – we want to make sure that you feel like our organization is a good fit! The first step is to apply through our website.  

Submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance. First, the Volunteer Program and the appropriate program supervisor(s) review your application. Next, our admissions coordinator will contact you to discuss your application and the program placement you are most interested in.  

Promising one-year applicants will be invited to interview with our staff in the Volunteer office as well as with several program supervisors. Following your interview, you and CAP will spend time in reflection to ensure a mutual match. 

  

Questions About Summer Camp 

When is summer camp? What activities do you have? 

Camp typically begins in early June and runs through the end of July. Each week brings in a new group of campers for residential or day camp. 

Summer Camp activities include canoeing, fishing, arts and crafts, swimming, hiking, camping, and field games. While all the activities are fun for the children, they also provide the opportunity to learn important life skills such as leadership, safety, team building, self-esteem, and respect for others. 

What would I do as a volunteer? 

Of course, we need many camp counselors and lifeguards, but camp would also not be possible without medical personnel, arts & crafts leaders, social media coordinators, photographers, office helpers, and cooks. 

How long is the commitment? Do you have an application deadline? 

We ask that most volunteers make a minimum commitment of three weeks. Medical personnel may serve for one week or longer. 

Who qualifies to serve as medical personnel? 

We need RNs and LPNs who are licensed in Kentucky or in a state participating in the Nurse Licensure Compact. We also welcome EMTs. 

Do you offer any financial support for camp volunteers? 

Yes! We provide travel assistance of up to $400. Individuals making a commitment of six weeks or longer are eligible for a bi-weekly AmeriCorps living allowance, as well as an education award for student loans and qualified education expenses. 

Where will I stay? What about food? 

Volunteers stay in dormitories at camp. Meals are provided when camp is in session, and volunteers have access to the kitchen on weekends. 

 

Questions About Seasonal and Skilled Volunteering 

How long is the commitment? 

Volunteers serve for a minimum of one week, but we’re so thankful for volunteers who can serve up to six! 

Where will I stay? What about food? 

We have dormitories and RVs spots available. Meals are provided Sunday dinner – Friday breakfast, and you’ll have access to the kitchen over the weekends. 

 

Questions About Mission Trips 

When can groups come and serve with CAP?  

Our Mission Group Season runs May-October. Occasionally, we’re able to accept groups the last week of April and first week of November.  

How much does it cost to attend a CAP mission trip? What's included?  

Please contact groups@chrisapp.org for current fee schedule. Participation fees cover the cost of lodging, meals, programming, and the provided service project.   

What is the youth-to-adult ratio? What is the minimum age a student can be to serve?  

A: We require a minimum ratio of two adults age 21 or older for every five youth attending the trip. Because our groups serve in home repair, students must be at least 14 years old to serve.   

Do groups need to provide their own transportation?  

Yes. We require groups to be able to transport themselves to and from the job site each day. Because we serve in rural areas, the drive may be up to an hour each way. Groups must have one vehicle for every seven volunteers they are bringing.   

Should groups bring their own tools for the job site?  

CAP provides tools for the job sites; however, group members can bring their own tools if they so choose. All tools brought to the job site will be checked for safety by their CAP crew leader.   

   

Questions About Spring Break 

How much does it cost to attend WorkFest or YouthFest? What's included?  

Contact groups@chrisapp.org to learn about current fees. Participation fees cover the cost of lodging, meals, programming, and the provided service project.   

Do schools need to provide their own transportation?  

Yes. We require groups to be able to transport themselves to and from the job site each day. Because we serve in rural areas, the drive may be up to an hour each way. We prefer that schools bring one vehicle for every seven volunteers they bring.   

What is the youth-to-adult ratio? What is the minimum age a student can be to serve?  

For youth groups, we require a minimum ratio of two adults age 21 or older for every five youth attending the trip. Because our groups serve in home repair, students must be at least 14 years old to serve.   

   

Questions About Community Volunteering/Disaster Relief 

Where can I volunteer? 
We have flexible opportunities in Rockcastle, McCreary, Jackson, Johnson, and Floyd Counties, as well as in our Lexington office. Whether you want to volunteer once a month or daily, we’ll work with you to find the right opportunity. 

What does it mean to be a Disaster Relief volunteer? 

Christian Appalachian Project’s Disaster Relief Program provides immediate assistance to areas in Appalachia suffering damage from floods, winter storms, tornadoes, and other major catastrophes. Disaster Relief has hundreds of responders from Kentucky and all over the country who are “on call” and ready to respond when we are forming a response team. 

In the event of a natural disaster, volunteers are alerted by email with instructions and will be provided the training they need to be part of the team. Volunteers with all different skill sets are needed to help with home and property repair and by helping organize behind the scenes. 

There is no obligation to signing up as a Disaster Relief volunteer–if you are not able to join us for a response, you will remain on the list for responses in the future 

  

Have more questions? Give us a call at 606-256-0973 or 800-755-5322 or click Contact Us. We would love to hear from you.  

 

Detailed Descriptions

Learn more about individual placements and fill out a profile to learn more about what is available as a CAP volunteer.

Volunteer Videos

What is it like to volunteer for a year of service with Christian Appalachian Project? Hear from CAP volunteers in their own words!

Contact Us!

Have questions? The volunteer program would love to chat with you about the many ways to serve here at CAP.

Prayer Requests

Our faith calls us and sustains us— that's why Christian Appalachian Project gathers for chapel each day. If you or a loved one are in need of prayers, please let us know and we will lift up your request.

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