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Volunteer program

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"Volunteer! Make a Difference in Your Life and in Your Community"

Volunteering is one of the most pervasive activities in American society, one that has deep roots as historical tradition. Presently, volunteers are the nation's largest untapped resource. They are interested, vital individuals who are willing to contribute their time and talents to others. It is the objective of the Costa Mesa Volunteer Program to link volunteers in the community with the departments of City government which can use their assistance.

Volunteering for the City of Costa Mesa can provide an opportunity to learn about various departments in the City and be of service to the community. Additionally, volunteering is a good way to update skills, to learn about different professions in advance of entering a particular field, and to remain active and challenged after retirement.

Program Objectives

In February of 1995, the Costa Mesa City Council identified 79 Community Objectives. The Human Resources Department took the lead in attaining the fiscal year 1995-96 Community Objectives associated with volunteerism. To achieve these objectives, a volunteer program has been developed to be utilized by all City departments. Through the efforts of a Volunteer Coordinator, community volunteers may be recruited and referred to City departments seeking the assistance of a volunteer.

Program objectives include:

  • To encourage and provide opportunity for citizen participation in City government.
  • To enhance City services by utilizing volunteers to supplement the efforts of City staff.
  • To increase cooperative efforts between City government and private citizens for the benefit of the community.
  • To promote and assist citizen understanding of municipal problems, issues, and programs.
  • To provide a positive experience for volunteers which will enhance their knowledge and skills. 

The Volunteer - A Resource
Volunteers bring with them widely varying backgrounds and interests. Similarly, their motivations to become volunteers are just as varied. For example, they want to:

  • Gain job experience and references
  • Feel useful and important to the community
  • Meet new people
  • Explore careers opportunities
  •  Learn about City government and services
  • Seek experience and/or school credit
  • Help others
  • Stay active after retirement.

Whatever the reason, volunteers can help extend and expand existing City programs by providing the additional services needed. They can assist departments by providing skills, expertise, fresh ideas, objective view points, or an extra hand.

Volunteers' Rights, Responsibilities and Benefits

Volunteers have the right to expect:

  • Meaningful and challenging assignments
  • Clear and specific directions at all times
  • On-going training and supervision
  • Recognition of accomplishments
  • A working partnership with staff
  • Involvement in decision and policy making which affects them
  • Feedback and suggestions from supervisors
  • Evaluation and performance on a regular basis
  • A letter of recommendation

Volunteers agree to:

  • Perform assignments effectively
  • Report for duty promptly
  • Notify the supervisor when unable to report for assignment
  • Observe the organization's/department's guidelines
  • Participate in training and accept supervision
  • Ask questions when necessary
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Park in designated visitor parking (parking spaces against Fair Drive)
  • Give adequate notice of resignation

Through volunteering, you CAN:

  • Gain valuable work experience
  • Make use of your talents and abilities
  • Achieve new skills
  • Secure job references
  • Explore career possibilities
  • Improve communication skills
  • Stimulate new friendships
  • Become aware of community issues
  • Help maintain a high quality of service
  • Be a good neighbor
  • Understand your city government
  • Utilize City discount coupons
  • Make a difference!

How to Apply for a Volunteer Position

If you are interested in volunteering with the City of Costa Mesa, the first step in the process is to complete a Volunteer Application. This can be obtained at the City of Costa Mesa Human Resources Department, 77 Fair Drive, or by clicking on the “Volunteer Application” link below.

The application will ask you to specify the time commitment you are able to make (days/times per week). Generally, volunteers are asked to make a commitment of at least three months. In addition, you will be asked to provide general background information including previous paid or volunteer experience, and any relevant training you have completed. All volunteer offers are contingent upon establishing proof of legal authorization to work in the United States and successfully passing a criminal history check (livescan fingerprint check) and post-offer TB test and/or medical evaluation.

The Volunteer Coordinator will review your application and forward it to any City department that currently has a volunteer position available that may be best suited to your interest and/or in which your background and experience would be applicable. If there are no current volunteer positions available at the time you submit your application, it will be kept on file and referred to a City department upon their request for a volunteer. If a department is interested in attaining your services as a volunteer, that department will contact you directly for an interview and possible placement.

Volunteer Application