Volunteer

If you would like to volunteer for OKCYU you should join a Working Group. Contacts are below, or see the Calendar page to find out when and where they next meet. These Groups meet monthly and are in communication in between meetings to forward the important work of OKCYU. Participation in one or more of these groups will provide you with a small group of other cool committed volunteers with whom to work, and an opportunity to put your interests and skills to work creating a strong vibrant GLBTQ youth program! OKCYU’s Working Groups are:

Fundraising/Organizational Development – Working to raise funds for OKCYU from individuals, organizations and through events; to incorporate OKCYU to become an independent non-profit organization; to help develop governance and structures; and more. Contact Group Convener at [email protected]

Outreach/Publicity – Working to spread the word about OKCYU and the weekly youth group; to create print and online materials; to develop partnerships with other organizations; to publicize meetings and events; and more. Contact Group Co-Chairs at [email protected] or [email protected]

Programs/Facilitators РWorking to keep the weekly youth group running; to provide training to  facilitators and leaders; to develop curriculum and activities; to develop other social opportunities such as movies or creative arts groups; to help organize a GLBT Prom this year; and more.

If you are a youth (aged 14 to 20), you are welcome to attend the Weekly Group and discuss volunteer opportunities in person.

Be A Leader

We also invite youth and adult community members to step up to a leadership role with OKCYU by volunteering to serve on our Steering Committee or to Co-Chair one of the Working Groups. The Steering Committee is crucial to the success of OKCYU as it provides guidance and ensures goals are met. It is made up of an equal number of youth and adults, and it receives direction from the Youth Councils.

If you would like to get involved, come to the next Steering Committee meeting (see Calendar page) or email OKCYU. We especially encourage community and business leaders to volunteer in a leadership capacity on the Steering Committee!

Be A Weekly Group Facilitator

Being a “facilitator” means being there to ensure the group is a safe, affirming and fun environment; to guide a productive discussion; to support youth to engage, connect and participate in the group; and to act a role model – amongst other things. OKCYU invites youth or young adults to act as peer facilitators, and adults to volunteer as group facilitators.

We ask weekly group facilitator volunteers to make a six month commitment, and to facilitate two weeks in a row out of every four to six weeks (depending on how full our volunteer roster is). This means you would facilitate two groups in a row, and may then take off two or more weeks before facilitating again. To be an adult or youth peer facilitator, you must go through OKCYU’s Volunteer Training. Trainings are scheduled as needed. Adult volunteers must have an FBI background check completed (see below).

Background Checks

Adults wishing to volunteer with OKCYU in any role working directly with youth (such as a Weekly Group Facilitator or Working Group Co-Chair) must obtain an FBI national background check. You do not need a background check solely to attend a Steering Committee or Working Group meeting. If you have had an FBI national background check completed within the last year, that will suffice. In such a case, you should make arrangements for the agency that performed the background check to directly forward a copy of the results to OKCYU. Results must be forwarded from another agency or organization and will not be accepted in person. As we require a national check, an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) background check will not suffice.

Results of background checks are held in strict confidence and will be reviewed only be a designated member of the OKCYU Steering Committee. Please note that having a criminal record does not necessarily disqualify one from volunteering. OKCYU has laid out general guidelines and exclusionary criteria for reviewing background checks. However, an individual is welcome to address designated Steering Committee members to explain the circumstances of anything listed on a background report, and discuss why they believe they are irrelevant to volunteering. The Steering Committee also reserves the right to reject any such pleas, and to exclude from volunteering anyone with anything in their background they feel are relevant to such a decision. As well, the Steering Committee reserves the right to reject volunteers they deem unsuitable for any reason.

The following is a two step process to having an FBI background check completed and sent directly to OKCYU (a requirement). The first step is to obtain a fingerprint card. The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office offers fingerprinting for $5.00 (cash only and exact change required). They offer three locations to have this done: OC Sheriff’s main office at the Oklahoma County Jail in downtown Oklahoma City at 201 North Shartel Avenue (at Colcord, between Kerr and Main), Mon – Sat, 8:00am – 4:30pm; at their Sub-Station at Quail Springs Mall (upper level between Sears and Dillards), Mon – Sat, 10:00am – 3:00pm; or at their Sub-Station at Crossroads Mall (lower level near where Macy’s used to be), also Mon – Sat, 10:00am – 3:00pm. There are other places to obtain a fingerprint card, such as the Community Intervention Center, which is $15.00 and by appointment – but is open later. If you’re outside of Oklahoma County, contact your local Sheriff’s office or other law enforcement agency.

Your fingerprint card will be sent directly to the FBI following their procedures at this link: FBI Background Check. There is a cover letter to print, fill out and return with the fingerprint card along with $18.00, payable by money order, certified check or credit card (form to print and fill out). The FBI claims to take 3 – 4 weeks to process orders, so be sure to start this process early as it will need to be completed before your first volunteer shift begins. Though you may request your order be completed sooner on the “Date Required” line on the cover letter.

***NOTE: You must list OKCYU’s name and mailing address where the cover letter asks where the results should be sent. This is to ensure the results are received directly by OKCYU. Results will not be accepted from the individual being checked, they must be mailed from the FBI directly to OKCYU. Results should go to: OKCYU, c/o First Unitarian Church, 600 NW 13th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73103.***

NOTE: We offer reimbursement of $23.00 to those for whom covering the cost of the background check is a hardship. However, we appreciate your covering this cost if you are able, as that allows more funding to go directly to youth programs.