ServiceLink Is the Link

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ServiceLink is a volunteer program of the Christian Reformed Church in North America that provides a one-stop resource center to link volunteers with national or international ministries. Staff work in partnership with the various CRC agencies and programs as well as with partner ministries and organizations.

Prospective volunteers don’t need to know exactly where they want to go or what they want to do when they contact one of the ServiceLink offices.

“ServiceLink can match you with a ministry around the world or in your own backyard that uses your skills and interests. You can volunteer for a few hours, days, weeks, months, or even years,” says Carol Sybenga, ServiceLink program manager.

With offices in Burlington, Ontario, and Grand Rapids, Mich., ServiceLink helps prepare individuals to serve in many ways, such as teaching HIV/AIDS prevention in Latin America, working as teachers in Asia, or serving as accountants in Africa.

Closer to home, volunteers can be regional advocates for the CRC’s Disability Concerns office, or church groups can serve for a week in rural Appalachia or with aboriginal ministries in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

All volunteers are required to go through orientation prior to arriving on the field and are debriefed upon their return. Additional orientation and training takes place upon arrival in the field and is specific to the country and the volunteer’s assignment.

Above all, ServiceLink helps people become comfortable with the idea of volunteering.

“A mission trip is a big undertaking and can, in fact, be very overwhelming if you have never done it before,” says Lisa Sochacki, volunteer coordinator in the United States. “Rest assured. We have been involved in this work for years and have many resources available and experts to walk alongside you to help make your trip a success.”

To learn more about ServiceLink, visit its website at www.crcna.org/servicelink. To speak with someone about ServiceLink, call the Canadian office at 1-800-730-3490 or the U.S. office at 1-877-279-9994.

About the Author

Chris Meehan is news and media relations manager for CRC Communications, and a member of Coit Community Church.

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