Job Title: Special Friend

OBJECTIVE: To form a bond of friendship with one of Southwinds’ residents.

QUALIFICATIONS: We are seeking volunteers who are loving, patient and are willing to share their time with a developmentally challenged adult in need of a friend. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older to qualify as a Special Friend.


TIME AND PLACE: Client homes are located in the South Hills area of Allegheny County. Volunteers may meet with their new friend at his/her residence or take him/her to an outside place such as a restaurant, mall, movie or sporting event.

DUTIES: The volunteer will establish a relationship with one of the residents by committing to spending quality time with them at least once a month. Throughout the year, we hope you will send greeting cards for holidays and birthdays, have some phone conversations, attend special events, and, if possible, attend appropriate events in the community with your new friend.

TRAINING, PREPARATION AND GUIDELINES: Volunteers must attend an initial orientation session, provided by the Volunteer Coordinator and the Site Supervisor, which will help in your understanding of working with a developmentally challenged adult. After the initial interview, we will carefully match the volunteer to one of Southwinds’ residents. The volunteer will have the opportunity for a “get to know you” meeting with the selected resident to determine if the match is acceptable to both. Once a good match has been determined and a comfortable relationship between the volunteer, the resident, and Southwinds has been established, the volunteer will be permitted to take their new friend out of his /her residence.

SUPERVISION: Any client-based issues report to the Site Supervisor and any program-based issues report to the Volunteer Coordinator. The Volunteer Coordinator and the Site Supervisor will always be available to answer any questions or concerns the volunteer may have.

EVALUATION: The Volunteer Coordinator, for the benefit of both the volunteer and the agency, will keep a record of the volunteer’s time and will act as a personal reference when requested by the volunteer, after the volunteer has committed at least four months to the program. The Client Services Director, the Volunteer Coordinator and the Site Supervisor of the resident’s home will perform a required volunteer evaluation. As Southwinds is required to evaluate the volunteer, we ask that you evaluate Southwinds’ Special Friends program as well.

** Volunteer programs can be modified to suite the needs of the volunteer. Please submit modifications in writing to the Volunteer Coordinator and the Executive Director, Stacey Kubala. Southwinds also offers a Special Family Program.