Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get to Denver?
You can fly, drive, take a train, or take any other mode of transportation you can arrange - whatever works best for you! CVV will pay for your travel to Denver at the start of the program in August and home from Denver after the program finishes in June.
What does a typical week look like?
A typical week of a CVVer looks like working from ~8am-4pm Monday-Thursday, being present for Friday Reflection & Discussion, and being part of other weekly community events (Monday mass and dinner, spirituality night, and either community meeting, or fun night, depending on the week). Weekends are typically free for days of rest, recharge, adventure, and community time!
What about vacation days?
CVV allows volunteers 7 vacation days throughout the year. Most volunteers will use some of these days to travel home for the holidays in December and January, and then save the rest for any other travel they might need to take throughout the year. Weekends and holidays do not count towards vacation days. How you use your 7 vacation days is up to you!
Where do volunteers get their food? Are volunteers responsible for paying for their food?
CVV provides each house with a grocery stipend for each month, so volunteers are not responsible for paying for their own groceries. The stipend is modest, so volunteers tend to buy in bulk and glean (collect donated items from various sources like grocery stores, food banks, restaurants, small businesses, or people in the community). Sharing a grocery stipend within the house is a great way to live into collaboration in community life, so volunteers tend to make grocery lists together and a few volunteers from each house are designated to do the grocery shopping. In season, each house also gets a weekly box of fresh produce as part of a farm share!
What is Friday Formation?
Every Friday is designated as a day of formation for volunteers, involving reflection & discussion, prayer, and outreach in the community. Volunteers do not go to their worksites on Friday, but instead participate in whatever is planned for formation that day.
What special opportunities do volunteers have throughout the year?
Volunteers have many unique opportunities and experiences throughout the year. The year begins with a week or so of orientation, where volunteers have the opportunity to get to know one another, learn the ins and outs of a year of service with CVV, spend time in the mountains, and prepare to begin the year. Volunteers also take part in a Fall Retreat, an immersion to the U.S./Mexico Border, a Spring Retreat (silent retreat), and a Closing Retreat, all in beautiful locations. Volunteers have opportunities to attend events, like incredible speakers, fundraisers for their work sites, and experiences in the broader Denver community, throughout the year. Each volunteer has the option to have a prayer family (often CVV alums or people connected to the CVV community) and a spiritual director at no cost to them. CVV has a wonderful network that volunteers get to be a part of, and there are lots of opportunities and experiences to take advantage of in Denver!
Where do volunteers live?
CVV has two houses and volunteers are typically split evenly between the two. Both houses are located in Uptown Denver - a very lively neighborhood! - about 2 blocks from each other. The houses are spacious, have lots of mementos from CVVers over the years, and each volunteer gets their own room. Most volunteer work sites are within walking distance, biking distance, or a short bus ride from the houses. Room, board, and transportation is covered by CVV.
How is CVV including diversity, equity, and inclusion work in the various aspects of the program?
To engage in DEI work, CVV has implemented a number of changes in programming. CVV has hired a DEI Program Director, who guides formation around various social issues and leads ongoing conversation about DEI issues within the CVV community, the Denver community, and the world at large. Once a month, volunteers take part in race-based affinity spaces, allowing them to discuss experiences around race and how they can be antiracist agents of change in a racially unjust world. Every Friday, volunteers take part in formation, which often involves both internal and external reflection and discussion about DEI and how that plays a role in all social justice issues. Volunteers attend a variety of speakers and events related to DEI issues throughout the year, and have conversations about DEI work, both within the CVV community and the broader community, preparing them to speak up and continue to stand for justice as they move on from their CVV year.
These questions were answered and written by a Colorado Vincentian Volunteer (CVV 27), Sophie Rogers.