Friends of Hue

Skills-based Volunteering: Give with Your Hands and Your Heart

Volunteering is often associated with giving with your heart. Many schools, clinics, and homes have been built alone by those whose hearts are so generous and full. Yours hands are your skills, which is associated with your work. However, with both your hands and your heart, you can help build something even greater through skills-based volunteering.

At FHF, volunteers from both the local community and abroad are seen as a vital resource and strategy for fulfilling the organization’s mission. Often times, volunteer assignments are created too quickly without much respect for the skills or interests of the volunteer, and as a consequence, tends to homogenize all volunteers. We are extremely committed to crafting a different volunteer experience for each individual and believe that volunteer projects should be crafted according to an individual’s unique skill set, interests, and strengths to construct a meaningful volunteer experience for both FHF and our volunteers. Experiences within FHF range from developing extracurricular activities for our children to developing strategy models for our programs.

“Through being involved with FHF for over six years now, I have been able to learn and grown in countless ways. Not only have I enjoyed and felt fulfilled by my work, these experiences have allowed me to find my career interest. I think this organization is doing amazing work and I have loved working with them.” – Shunei Asao, Volunteer 2007 – 2013

Given the recent growing criticisms about the ethics of “volunteer tourism,” an industry of 1.6 million people spending $2 billion per year, (or more specifically, “orphanage tourism”), FHF is currently revamping its Global Volunteer Program so that it addresses these concerns and keeps the children and their best interests as its top priority. Among these changes is a new focus on integrating research-based resources on relevant topics such as community development, human development, and law and policy in order to better prepare our volunteers for their placement. By informing volunteers in this way, we believe a more theoretically engaged volunteer scholarship can exist that goes beyond questions of motivation and impacts that can contributes to broader social justice movements and social change, which begins at the human level.

“Each and every child at the shelter have their own uniqueness. The age of innocence still embedded in their youthful characters. Life in the shelter was quite simple and repetition, but never a dull moment. My heart have invested in these children because their past is broken but their present and future untainted.” – Thuy Truong, Volunteer Summer 2014

FHF has welcomed a wide variety of volunteers with a diverse range of different skill sets and backgrounds. Just from the past few years, FHF’s Global Volunteer Program has hosted volunteers from Stanford University, Occidental University of Sydney, Volunteers in Asia, the Vietnamese Medical Outreach (VMO) at UC Berkeley, and the French Boy Scouts.

If you’d like to volunteer with us, and give us your hands and your heart, please fill out this Volunteer Inquiry Form. We are currently looking for the following volunteer positions:

  • Communications & Social Media Volunteer
  • Development Volunteer
  • Children’s Shelter Education Volunteer
  • Lighthouse Leadership Experience Volunteer

We would love to have you be part of our family by sharing with us your unique skills and talents. Hope to see you soon!

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