Volunteer at the Casa Marianella Adult House

Our volunteer program is very flexible, permitting you to work the hours and days you select. Please email (volunteer@casamarianella.org) and let us know what your interests are and when you would like to get started.

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1. Sorting mail

Former residents often continue to receive mail at Casa, and though we try to stay on top of the organization (arranged by first name), the mail invariably gets mixed up. It’s very helpful to have volunteers go through the shelves of mail and arrange the mail properly!

2. Driving

Casa residents have lots of places they need to go! Appointments, buses out of town, grocery store visits… Volunteers with cars can save staff members valuable time by driving residents to where they need to go. Additionally, we often drop off extra/unusable donations at Goodwill, so this is another trip that frequently needs to be made. Email us for more information: volunteer@casamarianella.org

3. Checking voice messages

We receive TONS of phone calls every day, and obviously cannot answer them all. On any given day, we will have 20-40 new messages. A fast response to these messages is a vital part of our mission, as they often contain important inquiries and alerts. This is a particularly good task for volunteers with strong Spanish skills, as many messages come from detained people and their families. Depending on the nature of the messages, volunteers can also sometimes return calls.

4. Sorting donations

This is another big part of our mission. Thanks to the many generous souls in and around Austin, we receive tons of donations. Everything from clothes and toiletries to food and books, we get lots of stuff. We’ve been a bit stricter in what we accept (and encourage all would-be donors to call/email before donating), but still receive a lot. We love it when volunteers sort these things out, and get them to where they need to go!

5. Organization

We’ve got lots of things to organize. Our men’s clothing and general storage shed are usually in need of some straightening up. Additionally, we’ve got linen closets, toiletry boxes, and other designated cabinets which get cluttered quick. It’s very helpful to the staff to have these things organized, especially when they need to be accessed in the midst of one of our regular moments of chaos!

6. Housecare

There’s any number of smaller tasks which need to be undertaken on a regular basis around the facilities. Bringing sacks of rice and sugar from our storage kitchen to our cooking kitchen, cleaning A/C filters, stocking the office with stationery, and general straightening up (especially outside on our patio) are always in demand.

7. Hanging with the kids!

Though Casa has historically been an adult shelter, we’ve had an influx of kids in the last few months. A lot of these kids get pretty bored throughout the day (though school will be starting for many of them soon), and are always happy to have some grownups to play with. Any sort of impromptu game, crafting, or even simple goofing off is a big help for morale. Kids love hanging with the staff, and we often feel bad about not being able to spend more time hanging out with them. A lot of our kids are super sweet, though most all of them have been through some trauma. Despite that, they are generally good-natured and receptive to fun with adults!

Volunteer at Posada Esperanza (Women’s House)

Posada Esperanza welcomes all volunteers from the Austin community to serve in a number of roles. Please email (posadaesperanza@casamarianella.org) and we will set you up with a time to come to one of our volunteer orientations.

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  • Homework Helpers are needed Monday through Thursday between 3 and 7 p.m., to assist our children with their daily schoolwork. Some of our children just need the help focusing, while others might need some tutoring in various subjects. We work with moms and volunteers to offer after school tutoring for the kids — and we need your help!  Though the kiddos are likely to be persistent in trying to get out of homework in favor of playtime, we need you to help us keep them on task!
  • Navigating social services can be a daunting task for anyone, and that is often magnified for our residents who have limited transportation and English-speaking skills, especially when they are new to Austin, to Texas, or even to the United States. Our Appointment Advocates drive Posada residents to their appointments and help to make sure that they have understood all of the needed information and they have communicated their needs.  Appointment advocates operate on a flexible schedule and can either offer specific times they are available, or be available for us to call when we have a particular need.
  • On the weekends, Posada Esperanza is full of excited children with way more energy than we know what to do with! We always appreciate Weekend Volunteers to organize calm, pre-planned crafts projects or educational activities for our children that keep things structured and not chaotic. Some ideas include reading (in both English and Spanish), writing stories together, math practice, science experiments, craft projects, puzzles, teaching and leading the playing of a board game, etc. Weekend volunteers operate on a flexible schedule and can set up specific dates to be available.
  • So many children in and out every day means that Posada Esperanza always needs a little help keeping orderly. We immensely appreciate our Clean-Up Volunteers, who come to Posada on a flexible, as-needed basis to deep clean our houses (scrub walls, cabinets and appliances; clean windows; sweep and mop; etc.), pick up trash from the yard, mow the lawn or do other outside work.
  • We also need Childcare Volunteers to occupy our children that are too young for school, but are full of energy, smiles and fun
  • Many of our residents do not speak English, so we are in need of ESL Tutors to help them practice and learn the language. Posada does not have a specific class time for ESL Tutors: you would meet with a resident one-on-one for very informal English practice or lessons. We have a few materials we can provide you with, but it will be up to you to figure out how to structure this learning time.