FRANCISCAN COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS FAQS

Who are Franciscan Community Volunteers?
Franciscan Community Volunteers are young women and men (ages 21-30) who are committed to service, community living, and spirituality. Franciscan Community Volunteers provide service for 11 months in St. Cloud, MN, and they come from around the country. Most FCVs are recent college graduates, looking for personal and professional growth through this year of service. top

What do the Franciscan Community Volunteers do?
Volunteers may work in a range of placements, from social service agencies to schools to community organizations. Placements for the volunteers vary each year, depending on needs within the community and matching the gifts and interests of applications to a service position. All of the positions allow the volunteers to grow in solidarity with the poor and help those most in need. top
    
What is the commitment?
Volunteers commit to 11 months of full-time service at their placement while also participating fully in community life - in the community in which both volunteers and Franciscan Sisters live. Intentional community takes time to build, so volunteers commit to weekly Community Nights to explore the pillars of Service, Spirituality, and Community values. Additionally, intentional quality time spent with other members of the community is expected. top
    
Who are the Franciscan Sisters?
The Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minnesota, is a Catholic congregation of religious women of the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi. The Sisters are committed to a life of prayer, simple living, and service to those in need. They are dedicated to promoting human rights and building community wherever they live. The Franciscan Community Volunteer program is a sponsored ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls. top
   
Where do volunteers live?
The Franciscan Community Volunteers live in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The volunteer community lives in the Franciscan Welcoming House with both Franciscan sisters and Franciscan Community Volunteers. top
    
When does the program start & end?
Each year our program starts in early August and runs through the end of June. top
    
When are applications due?
The FCV program accepts applications on a rolling basis. We respond to applications as they are submitted, so service placement sites are matched at a “first-come, first-serve” basis. top
    
Do volunteers get paid?
As the volunteers live in community, all room & board expenses are provided. Also provided by the program is health insurance if needed, transportation to/from their service site, and a small monthly stipend of $100 for personal spending. The FCVs are asked to explore the simple life by living within this stipend. Funding for the volunteer program comes from service sites, fundraisers, and private donations to FSLF and the FCV program. top
    
Do volunteers have to be Catholic?
No. Though rooted in the Catholic tradition of the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, we accept volunteers of any faith. FCV is a faith-based program with a focus on Franciscan spirituality, so we expect volunteers to actively engage in the spirituality aspect of the program. top
    
My organization is interested in having a Franciscan Community Volunteer serve with us. What do I do?
Great! We are interested in expanding our volunteer placement sites in the St. Cloud area. You may contact the FCV program director, Pat Schlauderaff, to explore this opportunity at pschlauderaff@fslf.org. top
    
Do volunteers have a choice about where they serve?
One of the things we strive to do during the application process is to hear what service opportunities interest the applicant the most. We discern with the applicant possible areas of service. After that has been determined, service sites and applicants may be asked to interview each other to determine if the position is a good fit for both parties. top
    
Do I have to have a college degree to be a volunteer?
We accept applications from young adults between age 21-30, and we will ask for either the college transcript or proof of equivalent work experience. top
    
Do I have to be a United States citizen to volunteer?
No, you do not have to be an US citizen to serve in the FCV program; however we only accept applications from outside of the US from applicants who provide their own work visas. Some of our service site placements might also require a background check that would not make it possible to accept a volunteer from outside of the US. top
    
What about my student loans?
The FCV program volunteers are often eligible to put education loans in forbearance during their year of service. Please ask your lending institution to see if you qualify. FCV will help with paperwork if needed to ensure that this happens if you are eligible. top
    
What happens after I volunteer?
You can volunteer with another program, or you can follow in the footsteps of thousands of other former volunteers who use the experience and skills gained from their time of service to help them in their next job or educational step. Your volunteer service is not "time off," but a valuable step in your personal and professional development. top
   
Is there an Education Award at the end of my year of service?
The Franciscan Community Volunteer Program will be awarding a $5000 education award to each volunteer at the end of a successful (1,700 hours) service year. Half time awards are available for those that start the program mid-year (1,000 hours) of service. top