Begin a Friendship Journey

Compeer provides a non-clinical layer of support to youth, adults, older adults, veterans and postpartum women living with a mental health challenge. A variety of volunteer opportunities are available for individuals as well as groups.
Youth program mentor accepts award

You’ve gotten this far. That shows us that you just might be the right person that is fit to be a Compeer volunteer. Take a moment to see which volunteer opportunity is the right fit for you.

Interested in referring the youth, adult or older adult you are working with to the Compeer Program for a volunteer friend or mentor? Click on the referral link below and fill out the referral form for a Compeer friend.

Questions? Call (716) 883-3331 for more information or email us at staff@compeerbuffalo.org

Volunteer Roles

One to One friendship

One-to-One Friendship

Best for: Individual volunteers
Clients served: Adults, Children, Older Adults, Veterans

One-to-One Friendship volunteers assist a client living with a mental health diagnosis who are striving for good mental health by spending approximately 4 hours of time together in person per month. Volunteers are positive role models who help raise self-esteem, increase social and communication skills, build trust, increase a sense of belonging, and encourage independence for their Compeer friend. After completing the application process, volunteers are presented information about potential matches based upon your areas of interest and needs of our clients.

Phone buddy checking in

Phone Buddies

Best for: Individual volunteers
Clients served: Adults, Older Adults

Phone Buddy volunteers provide weekly support over the phone to an adult or older adult client who is waiting for a One-to-One Friendship volunteer. Volunteers are positive role models who help raise self-esteem, increase communication skills, build trust, increase a sense of belonging, and encourage independence for their Compeer friend. After completing the application process, volunteers are presented information about potential phone buddy matches based upon your areas of interest and needs of our clients.

friends enjoying day at the game

Social Activity Volunteers

Best for: Individual or Group volunteers
Clients served: Adults, Children, Older Adults, Veterans

Social Activities are offered to both matched friends, and clients waiting to be matched. These free group activities provide opportunities to get to know one another, reduce isolation, and improve socialization. Activities range from pumpkin painting to holiday parties, and anything in between. Opportunities are limitless and can reflect your interests! Activity volunteers support group Social Activity events, by hosting and implementing activities virtually or throughout Erie County. After completing the application process volunteers work in partnership with Compeer program staff to identify opportunities for one-time or ongoing Social Activities.

To learn more, register for one of the monthly live 30-minute Virtual Information Sessions

or

Contact Lisa Johnson, Director of Volunteer Engagement at lisa@compeerbuffalo.org or 716-883-3331 extension 312.

To learn more or discuss an opportunity that interests you, contact Lisa Johnson, Director of Volunteer Engagement at lisa@compeerbuffalo.org or 716-883-3331.

Eligibility Requirements

Prospective Volunteer:

  •    Minimum age of 18.
  •    Complete a full background check (Criminal History Check- local police and fingerprint; Child Abuse Registry, National Sex Offender Registry) facilitated by Compeer.
  •    Complete an in person, phone, or virtual interview.
  •    Provide contact information for three individuals who will serve as a reference.
  •    Complete an in person or virtual volunteer applicant orientation.
  •    1-to-1 Mentor requires a driver’s license and vehicle, as you often transport your friend.
  •    1-to-1 Mentor and Phone Buddies require 1 year commitment.

Responsibilities

Responsibilities of Approved Volunteer

  •    Submit monthly updates to Compeer.
  •    Submit updated driver’s license and proof of auto insurance as required.
  •    Completes the annual program survey for each year you are involved as a volunteer.
  •    Have fun! 

Responsibilities of Compeer

  •    Will recruit, interview, screen and provide training to volunteers before they are accepted into the program.
  •    Will give ongoing support and training to all volunteers matched with a client.
  •    Will monitor the volunteer and client relationship via phone/email and monthly update forms.
  •    Will get to know the volunteer to present best match options to applicants interested in working with a client.

Ready to start your volunteer journey?

A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.

Tim Boling

Friends gathering for picture