Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you’re considering volunteering with us for the first time, or have been assisting Ancora Spero (formerly known as The Firely Foundation) for many years, we recommend taking a few minutes to review the following frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions that are not answered below, please contact us; we’ll be happy to assist you with further information.

Q1: How old do I need to be to volunteer?
We take volunteers as young as 15. However, volunteers under 15 need to be accompanied by an adult.

Q2: What is the process to be a volunteer?

  1. Complete Get Involved Volunteer Form or the Online Volunteer Application and submit it.
  2. Speak with Director of Development once contacted to explore your interest and match with an Ancora Spero volunteer opportunity.
  3. *Tour the volunteer site. (*optional unless volunteering with our medically fragile children or adults)
  4. Complete clearances (if applicable). Only volunteers working directly with our medically fragile children and adults need to get the clearances.
  5. Determine times you would like to volunteer and staff will put you on the volunteer calendar.

Q3: Will I be put on a volunteer schedule?
No, you are not put on a schedule. We are so appreciative of our volunteers and their willingness to use some of their time to volunteer with us that we will work with your schedule as much as possible. We simply will add your name to our volunteer calendar internally, so staff are aware that you will be volunteering that particular day and time. Days and times are determined by you. We will let you know if those times work for scheduling here on a person-to-person basis.

Q4: Which volunteers need to complete state security clearances?
Ancora Spero strives to keep everyone who participates in our events safe. This is especially important with respect to children’s safety. Therefore, we require that all adult (ages 18+) volunteering at an event hosted by us that has contact with medically fragile children or adults submit the clearances shown on the Get Involved page of our web-site prior to volunteering. For example, if you are volunteering as a nurse or volunteering to go to the Recreational Outdoor Adventure Retreat, then you will need to complete your clearances. However, if you are volunteering to wrap for the Holiday Angel Christmas Tree Gift Drive at the Firely Pediatric Services main office in Harleysville, then clearances would not be required.

Q5: What clearances do I need?
Anyone volunteering at an event hosted by Ancora Spero that has contact with children is required to obtain and submit the Act 34 Criminal History Report, the Act 151 Child Abuse Clearance Statement and the Federal Criminal History Record (Fingerprint). The links to these mandatory clearances are shown on the Get Involved page of our web-site.

Q6: To whom do I submit my clearances?
E-mail your clearances to contact@ancoraspero.org or fax to 215-513-7454.

Q7: How long are my clearances valid?
PA child abuse history clearances need to be renewed every 5 years.

Q8: What is the length of the Recreational Outdoor Adventure Retreat (R.O.A.R.)?
The Recreational Outdoor Adventure Retreat (R.O.A.R.) is 4 days, leaving on Friday at 8am from Firely Pediatric Services in Harleysville, PA and returning on Monday between 4pm-5pm.

Q9:  Can I volunteer for just part of R.O.A.R.?
Only if you drive or own vehicle.

Q10: What do I need to bring to R.O.A.R.?
Clothing for 4 days including bathing suit, personal items, blanket and pillow.