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“It is the innate movement of the heart that inspires every human being to help his fellow man” St. John Paul II



Welcome to the volunteer program of the CCSH Outreach Ministry. This Handbook applies to the programs operating under the CCSH Outreach Ministry, which partners with volunteers, community agencies and ministries, to provide an array of service oriented outreach projects to our community in need.


MESSAGE FROM THE OUTREACH MINISTRY COORDINATOR Dear Volunteer: I would like to welcome you to the Co- Cathedral of the Sacred Heart’s (CCSH) Outreach Ministry, our Parish Network of Charity. Thank you for joining us in this important mission and ministry. I sincerely hope that your volunteer experience with our Ministry is and continues to be a satisfying and meaningful experience. We hope to provide you with a positive environment with opportunities for your personal and spiritual growth. During your time as a volunteer, you will come to understand the access to essential human services is an important part of building and maintaining a strong healthy community. The CCSH Outreach Ministry works to build partnerships with agencies of good will and together we lift up our community in need. This model of Outreach builds service capacity, avoids duplication of resources and together we focus on the most important needs in the community, so as to make a measurable difference in the lives of those who come to us for help. As a volunteer, you will play an important roll in the service our parish offers to the community. Our objective is to make the CCSH Outreach Ministry an effective ministry in our community. Your time, gifts and talents will help us to accomplish this mission. This handbook has been written to acquaint you with our Ministry. It explains the spirituality, policies and guidelines for the volunteers. If at anytime you have a question please feel free to ask. Thank you for joining in our efforts to care for the needs of our brothers and sisters in their times of crisis and despair. Welcome to the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart’s Outreach Ministry! I look forward to serving with you. In His Service,

W. Garaghty Wendy Garaghty Parish Outreach Coordinator






Chapter 2:




Chapter 3:




Chapter 4:





Chapter 5:


Page 12


Chapter 6:


Page 14

Chapter 7:


Page 15




Chapter 1:


MISSION / HISTORY Inspired by the Gospel of Matthew (25:40), these five little words, “You Did It For Me”, compel us to serve everyone as if we are serving Christ. Our Parish Outreach Ministry invites and encourage the people of our parish to be the presence of Christ to our brothers and sisters in need. As we strive to dedicate our time, talent and treasures to serve others, through works of charity and justice, our community is transformed by the One who inspires and leads us, Jesus Christ. The CCSH Outreach Ministry engages our parishioners in service throughout our community, in collaboration with other agencies of good will, who are already doing good works. To avoid duplication of services, we have chosen to put our time, talent and treasures into supporting and establishing strong partnerships with these local agencies who have the resources, facilities and expertise to offer appropriate assistance in time of need and together we work to lift up our community. Founded in 2012 after the completion of our 1st annual Caritas Day, (our parish day of outreach and service to our community), the Outreach Ministry has expanded to providing ongoing service and outreach efforts to our community throughout the year. Today our parish Outreach Ministry provides multiple service opportunities and resources to care for the needs of thousands of our brothers and sisters.   

Our Parish Outreach Ministry has grown to include over 2,000 volunteers & 30 partner agencies In the course of one year, the CCSH Outreach Ministry serves the needs of over 35,000 individuals The CCSH Outreach Ministry is a self-sustaining ministry with the majority of our resources coming from individual donors and volunteers


Chapter 2:


Taking from Matthew’s Gospel (25:40) in the New Testament, our Outreach Ministry coordinates projects that promote, protect and provide for the basic needs of our brothers and sisters living in our community. By providing for these needs, we protect the dignity and value of each human person. Each project reminds those we serve that they are loved and God is Love. It is through our love in action that hearts are transformed. Through these acts of charity and justice, we seek to improve the lives of our brothers and sisters. It is our hope that each of them walk away from us better people having met us… For we know through our service, we are better people for having met them. Our Outreach Projects address the basic needs of Food, Shelter, Clothing, Health and Freedom. We feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick, help free those enslaved by others and bury the dead. Here are few of our regular re-occurring projects offered monthly:         

The Tailgate Project: Our Community Food Distribution The Brown Bag Project: Sack Lunches for local soup kitchens The Snack Pack Project: Emergency meal kits for our homeless friends Cookies & Milk Project: Nutritional bedtime snacks for children living in shelters Feed A Friend: Parish Food Drive and groceries for the working poor Bean Soup Project: Homemade Soup Bags for families in need Proxy Partners Project: Delivery of food to the elderly home bound The Birthday Box & Lifebooks Projects: Caring for the needs of children in foster care Homes of Hospitality Project: Moving survivors of human trafficking to safe housing

In addition we offer several other projects throughout the month/year which correspond with the unmet needs identified in our community, some of these include tandem bike rides for the visually impaired, yard clean up for the elderly poor, bingo nights for homeless U.S. Veterans, building wheelchair ramps for elderly disabled, garden planting to help feed the community, clothes washing for the homeless, Hope Totes for women fleeing domestic violence, Bedtime Bags for refugee children, etc… Our Annual Events:    

Caritas Day: Annual Day of Service during Lent Orange Bags & Turkey Tags: Thanksgiving Meal Baskets Baby Grace: Spiritual Adoption for babies in danger of abortion Caritas Christmas: Making Spirits Bright for families in need 6

Chapter 3: CODE OF CONDUCT Original Issue Date: January 2016

The Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Outreach Ministry continues the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. You are a valued asset therefore; our hopes in our partnership in serving others are high. The guidelines addressed below are to help staff and volunteers to work together. These include: 

To serve conscientiously toward achieving the objectives of the Ministry’s policies and procedures.

To perform assigned duties with a sense of discipleship and dedication.

To represent the Church in a professional and Christian manner as reflected in appearance and behavior.

To serve cooperatively with staff, partner agencies and volunteers in a sincere, tactful and positive manner; to respect the findings, views and actions of others and to use appropriate channels to express judgment on these matters.

To be punctual and to plan assigned duties to achieve effective and productive use of time.

To respect the privacy of the people served by the Outreach Ministry and our Partner Agencies and to use information gained in a responsible manner.

To keep and hold confidential all information in accordance with the Outreach policy and state and federal laws. This includes facts regarding our partner agencies, their clients, those we serve and administrative data.

To be responsive to the guidance, direction and instructions of Supervisors and Project Leaders.

To refuse personal gifts and/or gratuities which might appear to influence the Ministry’s action or position regarding a client, an individual or a firm doing business with our Ministry.

To clearly distinguish in public between statements and actions made as a representative of the Outreach Ministry and those made as an individual.

To be constantly mindful of the obligation the Ministry, its staff and volunteers have of portraying a positive image to the public.

To abide by the Ethical and Personal Conduct Policy as issued by the Archdiocese of GalvestonHouston.


Chapter 4:


EQUAL VOLUNTEER POLICY To create a more balanced volunteer experience, and to reflect our diverse client base and that of our community, the CCSH Outreach Ministry is committed to provide equal opportunity to individuals seeking volunteer opportunities without regard to age, race, color, religion, national origin, gender and to qualified individuals with a disability at all of its locations, in keeping with the Mission of the Church. Any incident of apparent discrimination should be brought to the immediate attention of the Volunteer Coordinator for investigation and appropriate corrective action. OPEN DOOR POLICY The CCSH Outreach Ministry supports an open door policy within the Ministry. If you have concerns regarding any aspect of your service experience with the ministry, you are encouraged to discuss these concerns openly and directly with your Ministry Site Project Leader. If, for some reason, it is not appropriate to discuss the concern with your Ministry Site Project Leader or the matter is not resolved following this discussion, you may discuss the problem with the Outreach Coordinator. Should the Outreach Coordinator or higher management be unable to resolve the matter, you may discuss the concern with the Parish Pastor. VIRTUS TRAINING / BACKGROUND CHECK The CCSH Outreach Ministry requires all Project Leaders over the age of 18 who are leading a project that involves children to attend this training to ensure the safety of all youth who are involved within our ministries. Please submit the Attendance Confirmation to the Outreach Ministry. Please note: youth who are 15 to 17 years of age may attend the training with parental consent. Volunteers placed at the ministries of Catholic Charities or those placed with programs that minister to families and children may be required to undergo Criminal checks and child/elder abuse registry checks as mandated to be appropriate and legally permissible. Continued volunteer term with the Partner Agency is contingent upon the results of the background check. VOLUNTEER PHOTO RELEASE The CCSH Outreach Ministry occasionally utilizes photos from our projects to provide our parish with an awareness of the works of the ministry. Volunteers are asked to consent to a photo release at time of registration. 8

CONFIDENTIALITY AND AGENCY PROPERTY The volunteer understands that CCSH Outreach Ministry is engaged in personal and confidential matters. We rely on maintaining the confidentiality of its information for itself and as required by those we serve and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (also know as HIPPA). All documents, encoded media, and other tangible items provided to the volunteer by the CCSH Outreach Ministry or Partner Agency; or prepared, generated or created by the volunteer in connection with any business activity of the Ministry or Agency are the property of the Outreach Ministry or Partner Agency. Once the volunteer reaches the end of the service experience, the volunteer will promptly deliver to the Project Leader all such documents, media and other items in their possession, including all complete or partial copies, recordings, abstracts, notes or reproductions of any kind made from or about such documents, media, items or information contained therein. Volunteer will neither have nor claim any right title, or interest in any trademark, service mark or trade name owned or used by the CCSH Ministry or Partner Agencies. All Volunteers will agree to and sign a Confidentiality Agreement at time of registration. PERSONAL CONDUCT POLICY The CCSH Outreach Ministry requires ethical behavior that conforms to its beliefs. To impact the community in a global sense, we first must look to our own conduct and attitudes. Volunteers are expected to read, understand, comply and embrace the policies in the CCSH Outreach Ministry and any representation of this ministry in the community. It is the policy of the CCSH Outreach Ministry to investigate thoroughly all reports of misconduct and to discipline the responsible persons appropriately. Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following examples:  An act constituting breach of trust or dishonesty, e.g., theft or fraud or falsification of any type of records.  Any action which may render a person an unacceptable security risk, adversely affects public image or causes embarrassment to CCSH Outreach Ministry.  Unauthorized disclosure of confidential information or use of confidential information for personal gain.  Unauthorized possession, distribution or use of any illegal drug or narcotics.  Any violation of the Alcohol-Free and Drug-Free Workplace policies.  Fighting.  Removal or borrowing of the CCSH Outreach Ministry’s or another person's property without permission.  Failure to follow instructions.  Possession of weapons.  Destruction or waste of property belonging to the CCSH Outreach Ministry or Partner Agency or other personnel.  Teaching doctrines contrary to the Mission and Beliefs of the Catholic Church, or promotion of causes in direct conflict with the Teachings and Beliefs of the Catholic Church. 9

Conduct, including sexual conduct that conflicts with or undermines the Teachings of the Church

PERSONAL APPEARANCE The CCSH Outreach Ministry believes the following guidelines enable volunteers to maintain a consistently positive image with our partner agencies and those we serve, while also recognizing the value and appropriateness of flexibility and practicality for our diverse services. These guidelines provide flexibility consistent with volunteer roles and activities as well as assist us in creating good working environment. During Outreach Projects, volunteers are expected to dress according to the ministry responsibilities of their position. All Volunteers are asked to wear RED to be easily identified as a CCSH Volunteer 

Unacceptable Attire Short shorts, t-shirts with inappropriate wording or pictures, etc., , halter, midriff, or crop tops.

Volunteers are expected to use good judgment and honor the dress code policy. PUNCTUALITY / RECORDING VOLUNTEERED HOURS The CCSH Outreach Ministry expects regular attendance from all volunteers. You are expected to be at your assigned project site, on time ready to serve and to remain for the full duration of the project time. This allows the different projects to be completed successfully. We understand that circumstances may arise that leave you unable to fulfill your volunteer commitment. A volunteer must notify the CCSH Outreach Ministry via email ( or leave a recorded message on the Ministry line before the scheduled start time if the volunteer will be tardy or absent; the volunteer should provide as much notice as is practicable under the circumstances, so there is time for a new volunteer to be put in your place. Failure to provide notice, like unscheduled tardiness and absences, further interferes with the project’s ability to meet its obligations to our Partner Agencies. (3) absences without prior notice could result in your volunteer placement becoming Inactive. All volunteers must be registered prior to the project and your name must be listed on the Project Roster. When you arrive it is the volunteer’s responsibility to sign in on the roster. Failure to register and/or sign in on roster will eliminate the volunteer from receiving credit for their hours served. If you are earning service hours for school or court appointed, the Project Leader may sign your form at the completion of the project. Only the hours you served will be signed for. POLICY TO PREVENT HARASSMENT The CCSH Outreach Ministry strives to provide an environment that allows each individual to attain his or her highest potential. To serve most effectively, each project site should be free of harassment of any kind which diminishes the dignity of the individual. This includes harassment of a sexual nature, age, ethnicity, race, religion or disability. Any incident of apparent harassment should be brought to the immediate attention of the Volunteer Outreach Coordinator for investigation and appropriate corrective action. 10

ALCOHOL-FREE AND DRUG-FREE VOLUNTEER SITE POLICY The CCSH Outreach Ministry recognizes that alcohol and drug abuse in the ministry and/or project site is a major concern. The use, possession, sale, transfer, purchase, manufacture or being under the influence of drugs, controlled substances or alcohol by volunteers at any time on the Co-Cathedral’s campuses or Partner Agency’s premises or leased properties, or while on Outreach Ministry business, is prohibited. The illegal or illicit possession, manufacture or use of any drug at any time is prohibited. Volunteers must report immediately any suspected violations of the policy to your Ministry Project Leader, Site Supervisor or the Volunteer Outreach Coordinator. Any volunteer who violates the policy will be asked to leave the premises. Depending upon the circumstances, other action including notification of appropriate law enforcement agencies may be taken by the Outreach Ministry and/or Partner Agency.

SAFETY The CCSH Outreach Ministry is deeply concerned for the safety and health of all our volunteers, the public and those we serve. We are committed to the policy that all volunteers serve in a safe environment, follow safe practices, use tools, equipment, and vehicles in good working condition, and wear and use all required protective equipment.


Chapter 5:


Original Issue Date: January 2016 VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION The CCSH Outreach Ministry utilizes Volgistics, an online volunteer management program to coordinate and schedule all volunteers. Volunteers must be registered into this system prior to serving in any outreach project. Once the volunteer is registered into Volgistics, a volunteer portal will be provided to each individual volunteer. This portal will allow the volunteer to view our calendar of projects, reserve their space in the project and track their service hours and history with our Ministry. To Register as a Volunteer with our CCSH Outreach Ministry go online to our parish website at Click on the link for Volunteer Registration. For Returning Volunteers, log into your personal Volunteer Portal. If you do not remember your link, go online to our parish website at and click on Volunteer Portal. To Register as a Family or Group, please register the head of household or group as an individual, then notify the Office of Outreach Ministry of your wish to change your status to include your family members or group. Email with your intent and include the names, ages and relationship of each volunteer you would like included on your family or group portal. If a volunteer needs assistance with registration or log in, please email the Outreach Coordinator at VOLUNTEER SERVICE RECORDS The Office of Outreach Ministry will reconcile all volunteer service hours each month in the Volgistics Volunteer Management Program. This will be done by reviewing all project rosters and confirming the hours each volunteer has served. Volunteers will not input their own hours, however each volunteer is responsible to review their service history to ensure the records have been updated correctly. To receive service hour credit: Volunteers must see their name on the project roster and sign in. VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARDS The Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is an approved Qualifying Agency of the U.S. Presidential Volunteer Service Award. This Award recognizes Volunteers who have achieved the required number of hours of service over a 12 month time period or cumulative hours over the course of a lifetime. 

Any volunteer who wishes to participate in this program to achieve this award must be registered into our CCSH Outreach Volgistics Management Program.

Guidelines for the U.S. Presidential Volunteer Service Award can be found on our parish website at 12


Chapter 6:


Original Issue Date: January 2016

PROJECT LEADERSHIP Each Outreach Project will be assigned a Project Leader. This person volunteers to serve in a leadership capacity and helps coordinate and oversees the project from start to finish. All volunteers are invited to serve as a Project Leader if they feel called to a particular project. To become a project leader the volunteer should notify the Outreach Coordinator to learn of the responsibilities for the project. Email PROJECT ROSTERS The CCSH Outreach Ministry prints Volunteer Rosters for each project. These rosters are given to the Project Leader and made available for sign in by the volunteer when he/she arrives for the scheduled project. Volunteers must sign in when they arrive to receive service hour credits. Drop In Volunteers are discouraged from participating as our ministry follows strict guidelines on the number of volunteers we can send to our partner agencies or can accommodate due to space. Please do not bring your family and friends unless they are already registered and reserved space on roster. All Volunteers should be listed on the roster unless approved by the Outreach Coordinator prior to the project. VOLUNTEER IN-KIND DONATIONS Our Outreach Projects rely heavily on volunteers and donations for the success of the projects. Many of our projects require the volunteer to contribute a food or supply item for the project they are participating in. If the project requires these items, the item will be listed on the calendar when the volunteer reserves his/her space. Each space filled will rely on the item listed. If families are serving together, each family member who is reserving a space will be asked to contribute. Volunteers with financial hardships that make it difficult for them to provide these items may contact the Project Leader or Outreach Coordinator prior to the project, so we can plan accordingly. The Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is a tax exempt non-profit agency. An In-Kind Donation form can be obtained from the Project Leader for all those who wish to have a receipt of their donation for tax purposes. PROJECT PREPARATIONS A reminder email will be sent to all registered volunteers who have reserved a space to participate in any of our Outreach projects. This email will give details about the project, including the date/time, location, and project leader’s name. A short description about the efforts of this project will also be given if available, which includes who the project will serve and the projected impact of the project. If there is a possibility of rain during the project and the project will be affected by this, a notification will be sent to the scheduled volunteers.


Chapter 7:

Volunteer Forms

Original Issue Date: January 2016

Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Outreach Ministry Volunteer Application

It is strongly advised that all individuals interested in volunteering with our Parish Outreach Ministry, completes an application online at


General Information Name: ________________________________________ Preferred Name: ________________________ Mailing Address: __________________________________________ Telephone: Home - ________________________________

Postal Code: _____________

Best time to call: ___________________

Cell - _________________________________ E-mail: ______________________________ Person to contact in case of an emergency: _________________________ Phone: ___________________ Previous Volunteer Experience: _____________________________________________________________ How did you become interested in our Parish Outreach Ministry and what prompted you to become involved as a volunteer? _______________________________________________________________________________________ Do you have specific days/times you would like to participate in Outreach Projects (weekdays, weekends, mornings, afternoons, evenings)? Please be as specific as possible _______________________________________________________________________________________

Is there a specific project or projects you are interested in volunteering with? ________________________________________________________________________________________

Are you willing to volunteer a minimum of (4) Outreach Projects per year & complete an Orientation training? _______________ Have you completed Virtus Training in the last 3 years? _______________ If no, are in willing to complete a Virtus Training within the next 60 Days? ____________ Have you completed any “Food Safety” Training with the City of Houston? __________ Do you have any other specific training that would benefit our Outreach Projects? If Yes, Please list _____________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________


Skills and Abilities Please indicate which skills and abilities you would be interested in sharing with us and our community 

Baking: I have “Food Safe” ___ yes ___ no

Computer skills

Data entry





Publishing, newsletters, posters, etc.


Soliciting sponsors / in-kind donations

Speak other languages - please list: ________________________________________

Special events

Training other volunteers

Volunteer recruitment

Other (please specify): ______________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________

Passion Into Action What is your passion? What social problems catch your attention and make you say “Why doesn’t someone do something about this?” Below is a list of some of today’s biggest issues and unmet needs found in our community. Choose your top issues and rank them according to how passionate you are about them. Feel free to add your own 

Animals (homeless pets, endangered animals, etc)

Bereavement (helping with funerals and assisting the grieving)


Disaster Relief

Domestic Abuse


Environment/conservation 16

Health related issues (cancer, HIV/AIDS, etc)


Human Rights – Just Wages

Human Trafficking


Migrant Families

People with disabilities



Pro Life – protecting all life

Prison Ministry






Special Projects Below is a list of some of our special projects that occur once per month or once per year. These projects rely on teams of volunteers to organize and implement them. Check any that you may be interested in helping with: 

Caritas Day – A day of outreach to help those in need in our community (annual)

Thanksgiving Meal Baskets (annual)

Caritas Christmas – An evening of Christmas Joy brought to the homebound (annual)

Parish Food Drive – Help collect food donations after all Masses (monthly)

____________________________________________ Volunteer Applicant Signature

_____________________ Date


Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Outreach Ministry Volunteer Liability & Photo Release Form I, _________________________________________, do hereby release, hold harmless and discharge the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, its staff and volunteers and the partnering agency, from any and all liability, claim, loss, damage, cost or expense arising from my participation in this event. I waive such claims against such organization or any such person, arising directly or indirectly from or attributable in any legal way, to any action or omission to act of any such organization or person in connection with execution of this event. I authorize treatment by a licensed medical physician or licensed medical team in case of any accident or illness that may so arise, or any hospitalization necessary. As the responsible adult participant and/or parent/guardian, I understand that promotional pictures and videos (individual and group) may be taken during this event. I give permission for pictures of myself and/or family to be used for the CoCathedral’s promotional materials (newsletter, web page, calendars, PowerPoint, video, etc.) in highlighting the event.

Print Name:


Signature of Participant (or legal guardian): Age:_________________ Address: City:

Zip code:

Email: ________________________________________________________________________ Parish: Home Phone:

Work Phone:

PLEASE LIST ALL FAMILY PARTICIPANTS BELOW: Name :_______________________________________________


Name :_______________________________________________


Name :_______________________________________________



Volunteer Confidentiality Agreement I understand that in the course of working as a Parish Outreach Volunteer, I may have access to personal information regarding individuals that are served during Outreach Events with the CoCathedral of the Sacred Heart.

I agree that I shall not disclose to anyone [other volunteers, staff members, family or friends, etc.] any such information without written permission from the Pastor and/or the Executive Director of the partner agency I am serving with. I further agree and will comply with the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart’s policy, that all contacts with the media must be referred to the Pastor or the ministry leader he has appointed to speak on behalf of the Outreach Event that I am involved with.

_________________________________ Print Name

_________________________________ Signature

Once you have completed these forms, please return it to the Outreach Ministry either by Email: Fax: (713) 651-1365 Mail or Drop off to: The Co-Cathedral Centre 1701 San Jacinto St. Houston, TX 77002 ATTN: Outreach


Co-Cathedral Outreach Volunteer Handbook  

The mission of the CCSH Outreach Ministry is to provide outreach opportunities that restore dignity, self-respect and build up our community...

Co-Cathedral Outreach Volunteer Handbook  

The mission of the CCSH Outreach Ministry is to provide outreach opportunities that restore dignity, self-respect and build up our community...