Frequently Asked Questions

Youth Volunteers

How Can I Bring My Group To Volunteer?

Due to COVID-19 we are not currently operating as normal and therefore have rearranged our services to remain safe during the pandemic. For ways to still volunteer, please click here

Breakfast Program 7:30 AM – 11:30 AM

This opportunity is best for groups of 6 – 10 volunteers, high school age and above. Volunteers will have the chance to prepare and serve breakfast, pass out coffee to clients as they walk in the door, help coordinate shower and laundry schedules, and pass out toiletries.

Our breakfast program is our largest program, and offers a great chance for volunteers to meet and interact with clients. Many of our volunteers have appreciated the chance to have conversations and a real encounter with the homeless community of DC.

It costs around $315 for us to serve breakfast to almost 200 clients each morning. If your group is interested in supporting our program with a financial donation as well as your time, we invite you to consider a suggested donation of $315 to help support our program!

Fresh Food Friday 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

This opportunity is best for groups of 6 – 10 volunteers. Volunteers will help set up our Free Farmer’s Market for clients, and also help with the distribution.

This is an excellent opportunity for groups to help on a recurring or one-time basis with easy responsibilities. Younger volunteers are encouraged for this opportunity and is great for kids ages 12+!

How to Volunteer With Your Group

To schedule your group to volunteer, please contact Vanessa, our Volunteer Coordinator, at 202-503-1533 or [email protected].

How Old Do I Have To Be To Volunteer?

It depends! Thrive DC is one of the few programs that allows elementary school age volunteers to work directly with our homeless clients. However, this is only during the Evening Program and it is up to the discretion of the parent whether or not their child is ready for the experience. For the Morning Program we require that volunteers be at least 14 years old.

Volunteers that are under 16 years old must come with a parent or guardian. Volunteers that are 16- 17 years old can volunteer by themselves, but must have a Parent Permission Form filled out. All volunteers 18 years old and over must complete a background check before volunteering, unless they are part of a group.

Can I take photos while I’m volunteering?

To protect our clients’ privacy, we ask that volunteers DO NOT take photos during their shift especially photos or videos that include clients. We are more than happy to take a photo of your group before or after your volunteer shift but not while serving clients. You can take photos of in-kind items you’re donating or pictures of bringing donations into our office so long as no clients are included in the photo. We strictly enforce our photo policy and will ask any photos we encounter that violate client privacy to be deleted and appreciate your support in keeping our community members privacy safe.

Do You Have Volunteer Opportunities On The Weekend?

Unfortunately, all of our volunteer opportunities are Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. If you would like to volunteer on the weekends to Thrive DC clients, there is another program called Loaves and Fishes that serves lunch on Saturdays and Sundays to our clients. Please contact their Volunteer Coordinator at (240) 855-5874 or [email protected]

Where Is Thrive DC Located?

Thrive DC is located on the bottom floor of St. Stephen and the Incarnation Church in Columbia Heights. To access our offices, please enter the double red doors adjacent to the parking lot facing 16th St, then come down the stairs. We will be on your left.

Where Can I Park?

Thrive DC cannot guarantee that you will have a parking space if you choose to drive. There should be ample street parking around our location, but space in our parking lot is extremely limited. Please note that if you do park in our lot, that our volunteers are only authorized to park in parallel spots and you should ask a staff member for a parking pass for your car.

We highly recommend that all of our volunteers take public transportation to our location. We are a short walk (5 – 8 minutes) from the Columbia Heights Metro stop, and the S1/S2 bus routes along 16th St stop directly in front of our building.

Can I Complete My Court Mandated/School Required Community Service At Thrive DC?

Yes! However, Thrive DC is not a good location to get a lot of hours quickly. Volunteers should not expect to volunteer more than 1 shift/week (4 hours). Please contact Vanessa, Volunteer and In-Kind Coordinator, at [email protected] to get this squared away and make sure requirements are met.

What Should I Wear?

Volunteers should wear comfortable clothing and closed toed shoes. Shirts must be “sleeved,” this can mean either long sleeves or short sleeves. Jackets, coats, scarves, backpacks, bags, purses, etc. should all be left in our secure office before your volunteer experience begins. There are storage cubes in our office (located next to the volunteer check in station) for each volunteer to store their items while they’re on the program floor. We encourage you to bring your own baseball cap or hat if possible. In addition, due to COVID-19, we have masks, gloves, and temperature checks in place for those who are still interested in volunteering during the pandemic.

Please do not bring anything to the program floor that you would be upset at losing. Thrive DC is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

More questions? Contact our Vanessa Davis at (202)-503-1533 or [email protected].