GIG Summer Volunteer Program


Complete applications MUST be submitted by May 1.
Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application Period: January – May 1

All applicants will be notified (whether accepted or not) on May 15.

Orientation Dates: June 5 and 8

Volunteers MUST attend one of these sessions held 9a-noon at the Hand In Hand Early Learning Program.

Program Period: June 8 – July 31

Shifts will be scheduled 8am-Noon, Monday-Friday during the program period. (Volunteers are asked to serve a total of 5 shifts.)

What is GIG?

The GIG: Giving Is Good Summer Volunteer Program is an opportunity for teenagers…

  • to learn about helping children with different levels of ability.
  • to gain firsthand experience with early childhood education and rehabilitative therapies (i.e., physical, occupational, and speech) to explore potential career interests.
  • who attended Hand In Hand to return and relive fond memories.

This program (formerly known as Jean Teens) has been a part of our organization for decades. In fact, many former teen volunteers have returned to work at United Ability or have enrolled their children in our services.

Who can be a GIG?

All GIG volunteers must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a responsible, compassionate individual entering 8th – 12th Grades.
  • Be comfortable interacting with children under the age of 5 and with individuals with disabilities.
  • Commit to serving a minimum total of 5 shifts during the 7-week program.
  • Attend 1 of 2 scheduled orientation training sessions before starting service.
  • If accepted, submit schedule availability and pay $20 volunteer fee (covers t-shirt and other program items).

What does a GIG do?

Volunteers serve in classrooms at our Hand In Hand Early Learning Program. Activities include:

  • Assist with classroom lessons
  • Participate in Water Play Days on the playground
  • Assist Office Staff
  • Help staff prepare lessons, supplies, etc.
Please be aware that volunteers are expected to be engaged with their assigned class or office duties during service. Volunteers will be expected to store their phones in a secure area in the classroom/office where they are assigned and only retrieve it at the end of their shift. Volunteers who are reprimanded for cell phone usage may be terminated from service for the day or (with continued issues) from the overall program.

Where does a GIG serve?

All volunteer service will be conducted at the Hand in Hand Early Learning Program on the United Ability campus on Oslo Circle – off Lakeshore Parkway between Red Mountain Park and Ross Bridge.

What if I cannot attend a scheduled orientation?

Unfortunately, we can no longer accommodate orientations outside of the scheduled sessions.

All volunteers (returning and new) must attend orientation to ensure everyone is up-to-date on program operations and expectations.

How will scheduling work?

All scheduling will be done online using When I Work  (which may be accessed using a computer or cell phone app).

Each volunteer will be assigned ONE account. It is the responsibility of the parent and volunteer to determine how to manage schedule sign-up and notifications.

More details will be shared with an acceptance announcement.


Contact Lee Thrash – or 205.944.3909.

Required Application Steps
Application Form (Required for ALL VOLUNTEERS)
All applications MUST BE submitted online by clicking the APPLY ONLINE button below. Please submit ONE application per volunteer (be sure to have all your application elements ready).
2 Online Recommendation Forms (NEW VOLUNTEERS ONLY)
Provide the link for the online form provided in the application to 2 non-relative adults to complete by May 1. The name of each individual must be entered when submitting your application.
Explain why you would be a good volunteer in the Giving Is Good program and what benefit you hope to receive from your experience. Please be prepared to upload your essay when you submit your application.