Jack and Patty, of Terre Haute, volunteer regularly with the alpacas at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind.

Jack and Patty, of Terre Haute, volunteer regularly with the alpacas at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our farm — we wouldn’t be here without them!

Volunteering is a “no experience necessary” opportunity, and we love to teach.  In fact, this is a great opportunity for you to learn more about sustainable agriculture, including gardening, animal care, and fiber work.

On this page you will find:
1. information about regular volunteer opportunities with us;
2. information about special occasion volunteer opportunities;
3. how to go about setting up a volunteer shift;
4. what to bring/how to dress;
5. how to find out more about our internship program;
6. and other details which may be of use to you (e.g., Americorps info, community service requirements, etc.)

If you have any further questions, or would like to see if an “off-road” volunteer plan might be workable, please don’t hesitate to contact Robyn Morton at 812-535-2932 or wvc@spsmw.org.

1.  Regular Volunteer Opportunities

  •  Organic Gardening:  we welcome volunteers in our gardens Monday through Friday from 8am-4pm.  Gardening duties include:  seeding, transplanting, weeding, watering, harvesting, cleaning produce and packaging
  •  Saturday Farmer’s Market:  on Saturday mornings through October, and then on the first Saturday of the month during the winter, WVC participates in the Downtown Farmer’s Market, and we can always use an extra hand.  This volunteer shift is from 7:30am-12:30pm if you meet us downtown, or from 6:45am-1:30pm if you come out to WVC to help with loading and unloading.  Market duties include:  setup and teardown of our market booth, assisting customers at the market.  Volunteers are always paired with one or more of our own staff or interns for Market duties.

    Volunteers are an important part of what we do at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice/White Violet Farm Alpacas at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind.

    Volunteers are an important part of what we do at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice/White Violet Farm Alpacas at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind.

  •  Alpaca morning chores:  morning chores for the alpacas are from 8am-11am, every day of the week.  Duties include:  pasture cleaning, watering & feeding of alpacas, general large animal care (occasionally collecting eggs from the chickens, or feeding and watering the chickens)
  •  Fiber work:  we have a lot of alpaca fiber at our center, and we need a lot of help getting it processed!  Fiber work is available 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. M-F at the center, or at your own convenience if you are approved to do knitting/crocheting/weaving/etc. projects for our store.  Fiber work at the center is unskilled, and we will teach you everything you need to know!

2.  Occasional/special event volunteer opportunities:

  •   National Alpaca Farm Days, the last Sunday in September annually.  Duties include:  welcoming visitors, spinning and weaving demonstrations, and assisting shoppers with purchases.
  •  Harvest Dinner:  Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, from noon through 9 p.m., time commitment varies depending on shift.  Duties will include:  assisting with setup and decorating, setup and maintenance of food line, serving drinks, bussing tables, and cleanup. This event is in our garden.
  •  Earth Day:  third Saturday of April annually. Event is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  MANY volunteer opportunities.

3.  How do I set up a volunteer shift?

Please contact Robyn Morton at 812-535-2932 or wvc@spsmw.org. We will set up a brief interview and orientation meeting, and there is a small amount of paperwork for you to complete. If you decide you would like to continue volunteering with us regularly, we will introduce you to Sister Becky Keller, who will enroll you in the Sisters of Providence Volunteer Services program.

4.  What should I bring / how should I dress?

The thing to remember here is that you will be on a working farm. Wear work clothes that can get dirty. Make sure legs are covered and wear close-toed shoes (for your safety), and t-shirts or tops that are modest and appropriate for a Catholic institution. Feel free to bring your own work or garden gloves, work boots, or any garden tools that you like. WVC keeps a stock of loaner work and muck boots, work gloves, tools, and more, so don’t worry if you don’t have the right kind of clothing for farm work. We also keep changes of clothes on hand in case people get caught out in the rain. Finally, dress in layers. Some days can start off cool, but it heats up pretty quickly out in the field and you want to be able to remove layers; in the winter, layered clothing will keep you warmer and happier!

5.  I’d like information about your internship program!

Internships are long-term commitments (3-, 6- and 12-month opportunities working in the garden, with our alpacas or with the alpaca fiber program) to White Violet Center which have an educational goal. See the internships section of our website for more information and the application process. Robyn also coordinates the internship program. Again, she can be reached at 812-535-2932 or wvc@spsmw.org.

6.  Other information which might be useful to you.

  •  Volunteers who work a full day with us (6-hours or more) are provided with lunch by the Sisters of Providence. Free housing can be found at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods for longer-term volunteers with sufficient notice and an interview.
  • WVC participates in Americorps through the Sycamore Service Corps at Indiana State University (ISU). Our positions tend to fill quickly, so if you are interested in this, contact the ISU office and be specific about your request.
  • WVC does participate in the Indiana State University work-study program, pending budget availability. Applications for ISU work-study go through the Career Center at ISU.
  • WVC is considered an appropriate volunteer location for the purposes of most University-required community service.

For more information about volunteering at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice/White Violet Farm Alpacas, please contact Robyn Morton at 812-535-2932 or wvc@spsmw.org. Hope to see you soon!