AIM welcomes volunteers, called “buddies,” who provide one-on-one assistance to weekend retreat participants and who are invited to join in and share during virtual mini retreats. AIM also seeks volunteers, called “angels,” who provide back-up support and assistance during the weekend retreats. They, too, are welcome to participate in the online retreats.
Each weekend retreat volunteer will be trained, as necessary, to provide effective service to their buddy. However, a loving heart and respect for others is really all that is needed to get started. Retreat organizers take great care in pairing volunteers with retreatants, making sure each volunteer is comfortable with the level of assistance their buddy will require.
Angel volunteers are not assigned specific retreatants and are able to provide additional assistance to buddy volunteers when needed. If you're concerned about your ability to assist someone with a physical disability, being trained as an angel may be a way to be part of the AIM experience.
All volunteers are required to be screened in accordance with the Diocese of Palm Beach Office of Safe Environments requirements. Participants must be 18 years of age or older, although weekend retreat volunteers under 18 are allowed if they are accompanied by one of their parents.
Still not sure if AIM is right for you? Check AIM out by joining one of its online retreats, which are open to the public. There’s no obligation for future service.
Contact AIM if you’d like to be part of the ministry.
Volunteers join AIM out of a sense of service. But they quickly realize God is transforming their lives, too, through the retreat experience. They begin to see great abilities in all of God's children, that we can all learn together—and grow in faith—through sharing with each other.
AIM's buddies and angels interact closely with retreatants during the course of an AIM retreat. Because of that, AIM properly trains each volunteer for their role, being most alert to the safety of the participants.
Each volunteer is fingerprinted and screened by the Diocese of Palm Beach as part of its efforts to provide safe environments for vulnerable adults. Additionally, each volunteer receives training by the experienced AIM team to provide practical assistance during the retreat.
Because AIM participants have physical disabilities, even those with minimal impairment are considered “vulnerable” under the diocesan requirements.
Buddies and angels are not expected to provide any medical assistance. Each retreat has a volunteer registered nurse who supervises all health-related interactions. Two nurse's aides are also on hand to assist in the dormitory for the overnight portions of the weekend retreats.
If you know of someone who is looking for a way to serve others, please let them know about the AIM ministry. It may be something that will make a big difference in their lives. It is a rewarding experience, as volunteers fully participate in the retreat and witness firsthand God's amazing blessings.