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About Volunteering with BTL


Become a Bridges To Life Volunteer! No experience needed…..just a caring heart and the willingness to be present and listen.  The Bridges To Life program utilizes an intensive, 14-week process during which victim volunteers and offenders are brought together along with a facilitator. Everyone has an open invitation to participate in the BTL program. Volunteers commit to the entire 14-week program.

 

Bridges To Life could not provide services without the generous donation of volunteer time. Community support includes thousands of hours donated by volunteer facilitators and victim volunteers and the use of facilities to conduct the projects in correctional units throughout Texas. Our volunteers contributed 44,600 hours in 2014, which had an “in-kind” value of over $1,000,000! The volunteers are absolutely essential to fulfilling the mission and goals of the program.

 

There are two types of BTL volunteers:

  • Victims of crime and others who have been affected by crime (i.e. family members). A primary goal of the BTL program is to provide healing to victims of crime, and victim impact through stories is a vital part of the BTL curriculum. Victim volunteers are invited to share their stories of victory as a facilitator of an entire 14-week project, or may or attend as “special volunteers” specifically to tell their story.
  • Lay Facilitators are not victims of crime but are interested in volunteering for other reasons. Lay facilitators are essential to our ability to bring the BTL program to over 3,000 offenders every year.

 

Training. All volunteers are provided with training on the BTL curriculum as well as mandatory security training by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). The three-hour BTL orientation session (a) provides an overview of the program, (b) discusses group dynamics, (c) explores self-awareness, victimology/sensitivity, and the offender perspective, and (d) provides helpful hints and an opportunity for questions. The three-hour TDCJ Security Training is necessary to become an approved volunteer within the Texas prison system and provides important information on safety and the dynamics of the prison facility.