Heart's Home USA
Heart’s Home USA
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Leeane, Philippines - 2010

FAQ on Volunteering

 

1. What is a “Heart’s Home”?

A Heart’s Home is a small house located in deprived neigh­bor­hoods. It is a simple home, a refuge and a place of con­so­la­tion to all the per­sons in need (and espe­cially the chil­dren).


2. What will I be doing?

Every Heart’s Home is first of all a con­tem­pla­tive com­mu­nity. Prayer will make each one more gen­erous and effi­cient. The Holy Spirit, granting His light during prayer, will enable you to truly dis cover the real needs of those who sur­round you.

You will offer a com­pas­sionate Presence to the neigh­bors, the fami­lies, the lonely and the sick and spend after noons vis­iting them, sharing their joys and sor­rows.

With the other mis­sion­aries, you will orga­nize out­ings, games, gath­­er­ings, or any activity that could broaden the chil­dren’s hori­zons. To achieve this you will need to be flex­ible, con stantly avail­able, and to have a real sense of cre­ativity. In each country, there are specific places with a more urgent need for a pres­ence. With the other mis­­sion­aries, you will visit these places: jails, nursing homes, shel­ters, hos­pi­tals…


3. Will I live in a community?

You will be living in a com­mu­nity with three or four other mis­sion­aries from dif­ferent back­grounds and nation­al­i­ties. Your common lan­guage will be the one of the country of mis­sion.

At your arrival, you will have a time of tran­si­tion during which the com­mu­nity will wel­come you. The other mis­sion­aries will show you around and intro­duce you to the cul­ture, and to all the friends in the neigh­bor­hood. This time of tran­si­tion is cru­cial. It is what enables the friend­ships with Heart’s Home to con­tinue even though the team of mis­sion­aries is renewed and changed. Your adjust­ment time usu­ally lasts two or three months.


4. Will I be able to choose the country of mission?

You will be asked to give your pref­er­ences but not to choose your mis­sion country. We ask you to receive your des­ti­na­tion with faith and to trust that this is the place where God wants you to live and serve. Your des­ti­na­tion is decided by the Heart’s Home staff according to your char­acter, skills, as well as to the needs of each Heart’s Home.

Note that you are not alone, the Program will provide the ser­vices of a “Vis­itor” to serve as an adviser. The Visitor will offer guid­ance, ori­en­ta­tion and spir­i­tual direc­tion during your time of mis­sion and serve as a liaison between you and the Program. You will make all impor­tant deci­sions in accor­dance with the com­mu­nity and the Visitor.


5. Do I have to be fluent in the language?

We do not ask you to be fluent but we do request that you do your best to learn the lan­guage of your mis­sion country as soon as your des­ti­na­tion is dis­closed. The more you know the lan­guage, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your new envi­ron­ment.

Note that in some coun­tries where the lan­guage is par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult to learn (espe­cially in Asia), some spe­cial classes are already planned with a tutor.


6. How long do I have to commit for?

You will be asked to choose between a 14-month, 18-month or 2-year mis­sion. If you commit for 14 months or for 18 months you can ask to extend your mis­sion up to 2 years. This needs to be dis­cussed with the Heart’s Home staff. After a 2-year expe­ri­ence we ask you to come back to your country. If you desire to stay longer, the next step will be to con­sider a life as a lay con­se­crated, reli­gious sister or priest within Heart’s Home.


7. Is there a dress code and code of conduct?

You must always be aware of your iden­ti­fi­ca­tion as a lay mis­sionary in asso­ci­a­tion with Heart’s Home and the Catholic Church in your country of mis­sion. Mission and rela­tion ships with others should be con­ducted accord­ingly. Hence, you are asked to be prop­erly dressed and to show respect and love to your neigh­bors.

In cer­tain coun­tries, where the dress code is an impor­tant part of the cul­ture (such as India), you will be asked to wear cer­tain types of clothes during the day to show your respect. This is also a proof of love for your neigh­bors.


8. Can I get a loan deferment or forbearance?

You can make a request for a loan Deferment or Forbearance at your lending insti­tu­tion. We will provide you with the mate­rials showing that Heart’s Home meets the require­ments to qualify for a tax exempt orga­ni­za­tion vol­un­teer Deferment.


9. What about medical insurance?

The med­ical insur­ance of the Heart’s Home Missionaries is pro­vided through HIC (Hauteville Insurance Company, a sub­sidiary of the French com­pany AGF), that has a world­wide con­tract with Heart’s Home USA. Therefore, you do not have to look for any med­ical insur­ance. The cost of the insur­ance is cov­ered by the spon­sor­ships you will receive. If needed, you will be placed in one of the best hos­pi­tals of the city where your Heart’s Home is located so as to receive the best treat­ment pos­sible.

In addi­tion, Heart’s Home has a con­tract with Mondial Assistance to ensure your Medical Evacuation back to the US in case of emer­gency. This covers 100% of the charges; wherever in the world you might be. Medical Evacuation is decided by mutual agree­ment of the local doctor and the Mondial Assistance rep­re­sen­ta­tive.


10. Will I have holidays?

One day a week, you will have the pos­si­bility to take a day of rest. It is impor­tant to under­stand that a day of rest is not a day out of your com­mit­ment, a day where you are putting the charism aside. It is fully part of your mis­sion and is there to enable you to be able to enter more and more into your mis­sion and to serve better.

If your family is vis­iting, you may take a week off with them and get a chance to visit the country. This has to be dis­cussed with your com­mu­nity and the vis­itor first.


11. Will my family be able to come and visit?

You are encour­aged to host your closest family mem­bers (par­ents - brothers and sis­ters) for a visit. However, to avoid having some vis­i­tors too often, family visits should be lim­ited to once (max­imum length: 2 weeks) during the time of your mis­sion.


12. Will I have access to Internet?

In most cases you will be able to access the Internet via cyber cafes. You need to be aware that the com­mit­ment with Heart’s Home requests less use of com­puter as well as TV or video games. You are invited to give reg­ular news to your family and friends but you also need to adjust to your new lifestyle.


13.What’s a Typical Day at a Heart’s Home like?

We pro­pose you to read a tes­ti­mony from a mis­sionary in one of our Centers.


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