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Volunteer Opportunities

Berks Encore’s volunteers are truly unsung heroes, and we appreciate each one of them and every single hour they contribute. During 2021, more than 822 volunteers completed 50,000 hours of service. 130 new volunteers joined our strong and extremely dedicated volunteers to reach the Berks County aging population.

Our volunteers provide a variety of services including packing and delivering meals, volunteering at the centers or during special events, preparing our monthly newsletter, and providing counseling for Medicare. Without a doubt, they are an essential part in bringing aging services to Berks County’s residents.

Become a Hero to Someone in Need

Volunteering is easy. You can do it for as little or as much as you would like.  Local businesses can also get involved by encouraging employee representatives to volunteer on a reoccurring basis for an hour or two during the work week. Volunteering at Berks Encore is a terrific way for students to fulfill community service requirements.

Volunteer Opportunities at Berks Encore

Volunteer Application & Consent

If you are serious about helping your community, please take a few moments to fill out our easy to use volunteers application and consent forms. If you have any questions or concerns, please call 610.374.3195 ext. 225

PLEASE NOTE: ALL FORMS MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO YOUR APPLICATION BEING PROCESSED.

Click on the form you wish to begin.

APPLICATION CHECKLIST

Volunteer Application Checklist

Forms Included:

  • Volunteer Application
  • Disclosure/Authorization/Personal Information Form (Authorization for Criminal Background Check)
  • Volunteer Driver’s Agreement
  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • Q & A explaining Volunteer Application Process
  • Summary of Rights Disclosure

Forms to be Completed by Volunteer:

 Volunteer Application
 Authorization Form & Personal Information Form (Authorization & Personal Information Required)
 Volunteer Driver’s Agreement
 Confidentiality Agreement
Additional Documents Required:

o Copy of Driver’s License
o Copy of Car Insurance Card

Forms to be Retained by Volunteer:
 Summary of Rights Disclosure
 Q & A /Volunteer Application Process


 

All completed forms will be forwarded to Director of Staff & Volunteer Development

Rita Phillips
40 N. 9th Street
Reading, PA 19601

VOLUNTEER APPLICATION


AUTHORIZATION & PERSONAL INFORMATION


VOLUNTEER DRIVER AGREEMENT


CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT

 

DISCLOSURE

 

SUMMARY OF RIGHTS DISCLOSURE

Para informacion en español, visite www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore o escribe a la Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street N.W., Washington, DC 20552.

A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. There are many types of consumer reporting agencies, including credit bureaus and specialty agencies (such as agencies that sell information about check writing histories, medical records, and rental history records). Here is a summary of your major rights under the FCRA. For more information, including information about additional rights, go to www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore or write to: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street N.W, Washington, DC 20552.

  • You must be told if information in your file has been used against you. Anyone who uses a credit report or another type of consumer report to deny your application for credit, insurance, or employment – or to take another adverse action against you – must tell you, and must give you the name, address, and phone number of the agency that provided the information.
  • You have the right to know what is in your file. You may request and obtain all the information about you in the files of a consumer reporting agency (your “file disclosure”). You will be required to provide proper identification, which may include your Social Security number. In many cases, the disclosure will be free. You are entitled to a free file disclosure if:
  • a person has taken adverse action against you because of information in your credit report;
  • you are the victim of identity theft and place a fraud alert in your file;
  • your file contains inaccurate information as a result of fraud;
  • you are on public assistance;
  • you are unemployed but expect to apply for employment within 60 days.
    In addition, all consumers are entitled to one free disclosure every 12 months upon request from each nationwide credit bureau and from nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies. See www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore for additional information.
  • You have the right to ask for a credit score. Credit scores are numerical summaries of your creditworthiness based on information from credit bureaus. You may request a credit score from consumer reporting agencies that create scores or distribute scores used in residential real property loans, but you will have to pay for it. In some mortgage transactions, you will receive credit score information for free from the mortgage lender.
  • You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. If you identify information in your file that is incomplete or inaccurate, and report it to the consumer reporting agency, the agency must investigate unless your dispute is frivolous. See www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore for an explanation of dispute procedures.
  • Consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information. Inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information must be removed or corrected, usually within 30 days. However, a consumer reporting agency may continue to report information it has verified as accurate.
  • Consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information. In most cases, a consumer reporting agency may not report negative information that is more than seven years old, or bankruptcies that are more than 10 years old.
  • Access to your file is limited. A consumer reporting agency may provide information about you only to people with a valid need – usually to consider an application with a creditor, insurer, employer, landlord, or other business. The FCRA specifies those with a valid need for access.
  • You must give your consent for reports to be provided to employers. A consumer reporting agency may not give out information about you to your employer, or potential employer, without your written consent given to the employer. Written consent generally is not required in the trucking industry. For more information, go to www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore.
  • You may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report. Unsolicited “prescreened” offers for credit and insurance must include a toll-free number you can call if you choose to remove your name and address from the lists these offers are based on. You may opt out with the nationwide credit bureaus at 1-888-5-OPTOUT. (1-888-5678688).
  • You may seek damages from violators. If a consumer reporting agency, or in some cases, a user of consumer reports or a furnisher of information to a consumer reporting agency violates the FCRA, you may be able to sue in state or federal court.
  • Identity theft victims and active military personnel have additional rights. For more information, visit www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore.

States may enforce the FCRA, and many states have their own consumer reporting laws. In some cases you may have more rights under state law. For more information, contact your state or local consumer protection agency or your state Attorney General. For information about your federal rights, contact:

TYPE OF BUSINESS: CONTACT:
1. a. Banks, savings associations, and credit unions with total assets of over $10 billion and their affiliates.
b. Such affiliates that are not banks, savings associations, or credit unions also should list, in addition to the CFPB:
a. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
1700 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20552
b. Federal Trade Commission: Consumer Response Center – FCRA
Washington, DC 20580
(877) 382-4357
2. To the extent not included in item 1 above:
a. National banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and federal agencies of foreign banks
b. State member banks, branches and agencies of foreign banks (other than federal branches, federal agencies, and Insured State Branches of Foreign Banks), commercial lending companies owned or controlled by foreign banks, and organizations operating under section 25 or 25 A of the Federal Reserve Act
c. Nonmember Insured Banks, Insured State Branches of Foreign Banks, and insured state savings associations
d. Federal Credit Unions
a. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Customer Assistance Group
1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3450
Houston, TX 77010-9050
b. Federal Reserve Consumer Help Center
P.O. Box 1200
Minneapolis, MN 55480
c. FDIC Consumer Response Center
1100 Walnut Street, Box # 11
Kansas City, MO 64106
d. National Credit Union Administration
Office of Consumer Protection (OCP)
Division of Consumer Compliance and Outreach (DCCO)
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
3. Air carriers Asst. General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement & Proceedings Aviation Consumer Protection Division
Department of Transportation1200
New Jersey Avenue, S.E. Washington, DC 20590
4. Creditors Subject to Surface Transportation Board Office of Proceedings, Surface Transportation Board
Department of Transportation 395
E Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20423
5. Creditors Subject to Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921 Nearest Packers and Stockyards Administration area supervisor
6. Small Business Investment Companies Associate Deputy Administrator for Capital Access
United States Small Business Administration
409 Third Street, SW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20416
7. Brokers and Dealers Securities and Exchange Commission 100
F Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20549
8. Federal Land Banks, Federal Land Bank Associations, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, and Protection Credit Associations Farm Credit Administration
1501 Farm Credit Drive
McLean, VA 22102-5090
9. Retailers, Finance Companies, and All Other Creditors Not Listed Above FTC Regional Office for region in which the creditor operates or Federal Trade Commission: Consumer Response Center – FCRA
Washington, DC 20580
(877) 382-4357

Meals on Wheels Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to deliver Meals on Wheels?

The average Meals on Wheels route takes about an hour to an hour and a half, but the time varies based on route, location and number of stops. When you sign up to deliver, our team will be happy to talk to you about your specific route.

How many clients will I deliver to?

The average Meals on Wheels route has 15 to 20 stops. Keep in mind, however, that the number of clients on your route can change as clients are added to or removed from our service.

Where do I pick up my meals to deliver?

You can choose to pick up your meals at one of our senior centers Our center locations are

Reading Center – 40 N. 9 th Street, Reading
Mifflin Center – 30 Liberty Street, Shillington
Fleetwood Center – 14432 Kutztown Road, Fleetwood
Douglassville Center – 2144 Weavertown Road, Douglassville
Strausstown Center – 44 East Ave., Ste 5, Bernville
Wernersville Center – 160 Main Street, Bldg. #5, Wernersville

When can I pick up my meals to deliver?

Volunteers may pick up meals between 9:30 am – 10 a.m. every weekday.

How often do I have to deliver?

The minimum requirement to deliver meals is once a month, but you can deliver as frequently as you like — once a week, bi-weekly, etc.

Do you have a dress code for delivery?

There is no dress code, but we recommend that you wear modest clothing and comfortable shoes.

Do I have to go inside the house?

You do not have to enter the home of the client. All that is required of you is to knock on the door and hand the meal to the client. In some instances, the client will have coolers outside to put the meal into. Two coolers with ice packs are required to leave the hot portion and the cold portion of the meal as each are placed in separate coolers.

What if no one answers the door?

When you arrive at a client’s home, please knock on the door or ring the doorbell and give the client plenty of time to answer. It is also helpful to call out, “Meals on Wheels” as you knock. If the client doesn’t answer the door, try again. Next, call the client at the number provided on the tablet or printed route sheet. If a client isn’t home or doesn’t answer, please indicate that on the tablet or printed route sheet. We will follow-up with the client’s emergency contact to ensure the person’s safety.

Please do not leave the meal at the door unless there are coolers with ice packs if the client isn’t there. Instead, give it to the next client on your route.

What if there is an emergency when I deliver?

If there is an obvious emergency upon arriving at a client’s home, such as a client who has fallen, please call 911 first. Next, contact Meals on Wheels so that we can connect with the client’s emergency contact.

What if I am unable to deliver my regular route?

We certainly understand that schedules change or emergencies arise that prevent you from delivering your regular route. If this happens, please notify us as early as possible so that we can find a substitute to cover your route.

What if I have suggestions for directions/instructions?

You are our eyes and ears on our delivery routes, so we welcome your feedback! Please feel free to share your comments or suggestions by notifying the center manager at your pick-up site

Do you reimburse volunteers for mileage?

Berks Encore does reimburse volunteers for mileage if requested.

Does Meals on Wheels have opportunities to deliver meals on the weekends?

Berks Encore currently does not have opportunities to deliver meals on the weekends.

If the client is not at home, can I just leave the meal in a cooler on their porch or in a bag at their front door?

Yes, leave a meal at the residence if no one is at home ONLY if there are two coolers with ice packs in each cooler. If there are no coolers and no one answers the door to accept the meal, the meal may be given to the next person on the route.

How do I respond if there is an unrestrained, aggressive animal in or at the client’s home and I do not feel safe?

You may ask the client to restrain the animal during delivery. If the client cannot or does not do so, you may move to the next house. Please indicate that a meals was not delivered and the reason why so that our Meals on Wheels staff can follow up with the client.

What do I do if the client wants to pay me for their meal(s)?

Volunteers can accept donations for meals from the clients. All envelopes should be returned to the center when returning the cooler bags and tablet back to the center at the end of their delivery route.

Please note that client contributions are voluntary and will not affect the individual’s participation in the program in any way.

Make a difference in your community!


If you’re interested in volunteering, please complete the volunteer application below and submit online. For additional questions or information, email or call 610-374-3195 ext. 225

Those who choose to volunteer with Berks Encore can truly change lives!

About the Volunteer Application & Screening Process

1. What are the steps in the application and screening process?

  • >> Completion of Volunteer Application, Authorization to Conduct a Criminal Background Check, and a Driver’s License Agreement.
  • >> Pass a Criminal Background Check
  • >> Telephone or In-Person Interview with Staff Supervisor
  • >> Reference Checks (if needed)
  • >> Copies of Current Driver’s License and Insurance Card (updated copies are required at each renewal)

2. Why are there so many steps in the process?

Berks Encore takes seriously the safety of our beneficiaries and volunteers. Many of our program recipients are in a vulnerable position. A thorough screening process enables Berks Encore to provide safe and productive community service programs with trustworthy and reliable volunteers who do not present a risk of harm to themselves and others.

3. Who reviews my application form?

Your Application is reviewed by Berks Encore’s Director of Volunteers and the staff member(s) who will be your assigned supervisor. All other information provided to process the application will be viewed only by the Director of Volunteers.

4. Why do you ask about conflicts of interest on the application form? (Medicare Counseling only)

Berks Encore strives to provide objective and unbiased information and services involving Medicare and other health insurance programs. Objectivity is important to building trust with individuals and a reputation of trustworthiness in the community. To build a volunteer workforce that provides objective information and services, we ask applicants to declare if they have a financial, personal, or philosophical interest that may present a conflict with the program’s interest in maintaining its reputation for objectivity.

5. Why do you conduct a Criminal Background Check, contact references and ask for copies of my driver’s license and insurance card?

Many of the people who use the Berks Encore’s services are in a vulnerable position. We conduct criminal background checks to ensure the safety of Berks Encore clients. We may check at least two personal and/or work references because they provide relevant information for the individual(s) who make the acceptance and placement decisions.

6. What will you do with the sensitive personal information that I provide?

We will respect and protect any information that you give us in confidence. Electronic information is password protected and paper information is maintained in a locked file.

7. How will I learn if I have been accepted for placement as a Berks Encore volunteer?

Berks Encore’s Director of Volunteers will notify you in writing of our decision. If we accept you for placement, the letter will inform you the supervisor and/or center you will be assigned to.

8. How long does the screening process take?

The length of time may vary depending on our ability to schedule an interview, the availability of references to take calls and answer questions, and the response time of authorities who conduct criminal background records checks. The process could take up to a week once we receive all of the required signed application documentation. We will update you if the process takes longer than we expect.

planned giving

Planned Giving

At Berks Encore, your giving is vital to the success of our mission. In addition to direct giving, you can support us through planned giving.

Berks Encore has partnered with Everence to provide charitable services to help you explore a variety of planned giving options. Through gift planning, you can provide future support for Berks Encore, while also giving you and your loved one’s financial flexibility, potential tax benefits and even income for life.

For more information, contact us online or by phone at 610.374.3195, ext. 228.

You may also contact Everence at 717-653-6662

Bequests

Through a bequest plan, you can designate Berks Encore as the beneficiary of assets by will, trust or other instrument.

Learn More

Charitable Gift Annuities

A gift annuity is a great way to help Berks Encore while also securing your future, with guaranteed payments for life.

Learn More

Charitable Remainder Trusts

A charitable remainder trust is an ideal way to turn your assets (like real estate and securities) into a charitable gift without losing much of your capital gains to taxes – and support Berks Encore at the same time.

Learn More

IRAs & Tax-Deferred Accounts

If you have a tax-deferred account, such as a traditional IRA (individual retirement account), you can donate it to charity upon your death and help your estate avoid paying substantial taxes that may be due.

Learn More

Farm Commodities

Farmers can donate commodities like grain or livestock instead of cash to Berks Encore, while also reducing taxes.

Learn More

Gifts of Stock

You can turn your investments into cash without losing a large portion of your capital gains to taxes by donating all or a portion of your stock to Berks Encore.

Learn More

Gifts of Real Estate

Giving a charitable gift of real estate is an option for owners of farmland, commercial or residential rental property, or vacant investment land.

Learn More

Life Insurance

Life insurance is a practical and affordable way to donate more than you may have thought possible.

Learn More

Employment Opportunities

Join the Berks Encore team for a rewarding career helping seniors in our community age with confidence. Current employment opportunities are listed on this page. As positions become available, you will find them here.