Volunteer

Staunch Advocates for Individuals on the Spectrum

Volunteer Opportunities for Students

Autism is a disorder that primarily affects social communication skills, which is why our “peer buddies” are such an integral part of our programs. “Peer buddies” are student volunteers (ages 10 and up) who provide a positive example for our participants with autism. In turn, the volunteer receives priceless lessons of stewardship, compassion, and the value of acceptance.

FACT offers a wide range of activities and time commitments

 throughout the year to suit anyone’s schedule, including daily (seasonal), weekly, monthly, and occasional time commitments.

To learn more about the types of programs

you can volunteer for, please scroll down or contact us for questions.

To request a letter or verify community service hours, click here.

Camp Gonnawannagoagin’

Volunteers 10 and older are welcome to join FACT as we host a fun-filled, action-packed day camp for 6 one-week sessions in the summer, 1 week in the spring, and 1 week in the winter. Volunteers attend a mandatory training session and must be available Monday through Friday of their registered week from 8:30 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. Volunteers must be physically able to participate in field trips and daily swimming. A great attitude and helpful demeanor are pre‑requisites.

Student volunteers, or “peer buddies,” are paired with a child with autism for a week of mentoring and companionship. For a peer buddy, the camp is a place to learn that leadership is about connecting with and serving others. Volunteers witness first-hand that a disability doesn’t drive a person, and differences need not be feared.

Learn more about our volunteering for summer camp here.

Bike camp

This program teaches individuals with disabilities to ride traditional two-wheel bikes in just 5 days! Physically fit teens and adults are needed to be spotters for 1 hour per day for 5 days. Volunteers run alongside new riders with emerging skills offering emotional and physical support.

SOCIAL PROGRAMS

Social programs for teens and young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome occur once a month.

Interactive activities such as going to arcades, karaoke, laser quest, and dances are specifically chosen so that our students have increased opportunities to socialize with their peers and gain confidence in the community.

Volunteers aged 14-18 are invited to join us at Teen Time and volunteers 16 and older at Social Club. Volunteers must register for each event separately and may participate as often as they like.

SPORTS PROGRAMS

Student volunteers ages 14 and older can participate in are our sports clinics and bowling leagues . Each school year, FACT offers three 8-week sports clinics on Saturday mornings and two 10-week bowling leagues on Sunday afternoons. Volunteers do not need to be proficient in the sport they choose. Sports buddies work with teams to facilitate communication, sportsmanship, and turn-taking. 

LEISURE PROGRAMS

Not every child enjoys physical activity, so FACT offers a variety of leisure skill-based programs throughout the year. From cooking and gardening, to karaoke and drama club, there is always something new to try.  Whether working collaboratively toward a performance, or discovering a creative outlet or new hobby, increasing leisure skills improves quality of life.

Leisure programs usually occur once per week for eight weeks. Student volunteers ages 14 and older can participate. 

Volunteer Opportunities for Adults

For obvious reasons, adults are not eligible to be a “peer buddy” during camp due to their age. However, many of the activities that support our organization specifically require adult volunteers. Like our student volunteer program, we have adult volunteer opportunities to suit any schedule. Below are a just few examples of how you can help.

Lawn Party Under the Stars

Each May, FACT hosts the party of the season and raises much-needed funds for FACT programs. It’s a casual outdoor event hosted in Virginia Beach. The party features catering from Baker’s Crust and Coastal Grill, a top-shelf open bar, live music, dancing, live and silent auctions, and a raffle for cash prizes. Adult Volunteers are needed to assist with set up, serving, check-in, and more.  Interested adults should contact us

Sports Clinics including Gonnawannabowlagin’

A limited number of adult volunteers are used for our sports clinics and bowling leagues . Volunteers assist with a weekly check-in and work with teams to facilitate communication, sportsmanship, and turn-taking. 

This program teaches individuals with disabilities to ride traditional two-wheel bikes in just 5 days! Physically fit teens and adults are needed to be spotters for 1 hour per day for 5 days. Volunteers run alongside new riders with emerging skills offering emotional and physical support.

Family Celebrations

FACT hosts a wonderful party each October, December, February, April, and June. We have inflatables, games, face-painting, crafts, concessions, and more. Adults and teens are needed to manage all aspects of the event from running a ring toss game to grilling hot dogs.

Sharing Your Talent or Hobby

We welcome guests during our day camps, socials, and sports programs. Whether you play an instrument, have an unusual pet, cook, juggle, or have artistic talent, we’d love to learn about what makes you unique.

For more information regarding any of these activities, contact us.

host a Fundraiser

FACT is very fortunate that so many civic-minded groups and individuals host fundraisers to benefit our programs. From tennis and golf tournaments to “penny wars,” car washes, and corn-hole tournaments, teams, clubs, and small businesses have taken it upon themselves to help families with autism.

If you would like to host a fundraiser, please let us know. We can help promote your event, provide volunteers, and sometimes contribute or lend materials.

Fundraising Event Host Applications: click here.