FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

questions with blue man

Volunteering:

1.  Who do I contact to inquire about volunteering at The Valor Crisis and Training Center?

To learn more about our volunteer opportunities, please contact Mac Caldwell, Training Coordinator, at 240-329-9387, ext. 310, or email him at mac.caldwell@thevalorcenter.org. For more details, visit www.thevalorcenter.org/volunteer.

2.  Is there training involved?

Yes, each volunteer is required to go through an initial training period before serving at Valor Ministries.  Training sessions are held monthly.  After that, general volunteer training takes approximately 2 weeks to complete.  Mentoring training may last up to 6 weeks.  All training is held at The Valor Crisis and Training Center, 223 N. Prospect Street, Suite 403, Hagerstown, MD. It is advised to pack a lunch.

3.  What will I learn during my training?

You will learn the history of Valor Ministries, combined with statistics on the current state of Washington County, so that you will better understand the complexities of the low-income population we serve. You will be assessed on your personality, gifts, talents, abilities, etc., in order that we may place you in your most effective environment. You will also be introduced to the concept of healthy boundaries and the differences between various social classes. Lastly, you will learn key aspects to every position within Valor Ministries.

4.  What is the time commitment?

That is up to you. Volunteers can serve anywhere from 1-4 days per week, at no less than five hour shifts.  Current hours of operation are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9am-3pm. Your volunteer position is very important and we are looking for committed volunteers.  Most positions require anywhere from a six months to a one year commitment.  As a business, we rely on our volunteers to fulfill their obligations in order for operations to run smoothly. When a volunteer does not show up, it can create disruption, not just for our staff, but for our clients as well.

5.  What qualifications do I need in order to volunteer?

We are looking for those with servant and teachable hearts. If that describes you, then you are just who we are looking for. While some positions do require a specific skill set, not all do. We believe that God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.  Mentors must have prior mentoring, discipleship, counseling, or other relevant experience.

6.  What do I do next if I want to volunteer?

First, you will need to fill out our volunteer application. Those applications are available by contacting Mac Caldwell at 240-329-9387, ext. 310, or by email at mac.caldwell@thevalorcenter.org. On the application, you will need to provide three references. You will also be asked your availability.

Please note: as part of our application process, we do routine background checks. This is done to ensure that our volunteers are currently free of legal or personal challenges that may affect their service with us. Past mistakes do not necessarily prevent people from serving at Valor Ministries; however, we want to make sure that we are providing a safe environment for not only the volunteer, but for our staff and clients as well.

During the approval process, you need to attend one of our Valor Hour Connection Events before you begin your training.  Next, you will schedule an appointment for a question and answer session.  During this visit, you will also be asked to sign a confidentiality and conflict of interest agreement and register for your initial training session.

Before you leave, you will be given a set of assessments that you will take home to be completed before training begins. It is imperative that each section be completed so that we can find the optimum environment where you will thrive. We want your experience with Valor Ministries to be a positive one. We never want to set anyone up for failure.

Donating:

1.  Why the need for new financial partners?

All other challenges pale in comparison to the need for funding to keep our doors open and accomplish our mission. We never lack for vision, ideas or enthusiasm. The challenge is always finding sufficient funds today to safeguard our organization’s financial vitality while working toward a stable future.

Some missions seem harder to sell to supporters than others. In our area, nonprofits that serve low-income and homeless residents of the county are deemed as contributing to negative factors affecting the local economy. The bad will, along with negative publicity, solidifies that some area leaders would like us to close our doors so that we do not draw “unwanted” people to our community for assistance.

Lastly, some types of funding are more difficult to raise than others. Unrestricted funds are getting harder and harder to find. Sustaining operating funds rather than “unique” project funds is very challenging. There are also too many groups competing for the available money. As a result, funding sources have become highly competitive.

2.  What type of a financial commitment are you looking for?

Any amount donated to Valor Ministries is appreciated and we are grateful, no matter how big or small the gift. However, to be completely transparent with you, it is going to require some sacrificial giving to meet the needs of Valor’s clients in the years to come. Poor economic conditions, combined with a laundry list of situational difficulties, are what drives people through our doors. But what they really are looking for is hope… and that is just what Valor Ministries provides.

With that being said, we are looking for individuals and/or organizations who are willing to donate $2,000 to our organization yearly.  It can be a one-time gift, or broken up into smaller payments of $500 per quarter, or $166.67 per month. That is only $5.68 per day to make a lasting investment in the life of some of our community’s most physically, emotionally, and spiritually needy. Your gift has the potential to reach over 1,800 Washington County residents at an investment of just $1.22 per person per year.

3.  What is the most cost-effective method for financially investing in Valor Ministries?

The most cost-effective method is to donate securely online using a credit or debit card at www.thevalorcenter.org/donate/.  You can make a one-time gift or a monthly, quarterly, yearly, or recurrent donation.  A second option is to send us a check.

4.  Are there extra fees if I donate online using my credit or debit card?

All credit and debit card donations must be made online through FlipCause.   Valor Ministries will be charged a small transaction fee for each donation they process.  Please consider adding that extra cost to your donation.  Keep in mind, if you set up recurring payments, you will need to cancel in order to discontinue those payments.

5.  To whom do I make a check payable?

In order to comply with IRS regulations and for donations to eligible for tax deductibility, all monetary donations must be made payable to Valor Ministries. Checks made payable to staff cannot be processed and will be returned for proper completion.

6.  Can I mail in a donation?

Yes, you can mail in a donation at any time. Please mail to: Valor Ministries, 223 N. Prospect Street, Suite 403, Hagerstown, MD 21740.

7.  How do I donate clothing to the Draped with Confidence Boutique?

All donations of clothing must be pre-arranged for drop off with Jamie Johnson, DWC Coordinator, by calling 240-329-9387 ext. 306, or by email at Jamie.johnson@thevalorcenter.org. At this time, Valor Ministries does not offer pick up service of your donations.

We accept CLEAN, gently used, men and women’s business attire, as well as other items such as: shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, soap, toothpaste, lotion, makeup, laundry detergent, fabric softener, briefcases, purses, shoes, ties, belts, slips, nylons/knee highs, underwear, bras, etc. We also accept all kinds of jewelry. High demand items are medical scrubs/shoes, men’s steel-toed work boots, and winter dress coats.

Please make sure that any clothing donated is “season-appropriate” and checked for stains, rips, etc. Check your pockets, too! You do not want to run the risk of losing something of sentimental or monetary value.  We encourage donations of clothing that never go out of style. Traditional styles of men’s and women’s business attire will stand the test of time. They are still some of the best ways to make a good first impression when interviewing and working with colleagues.  Please do not donate something you would not wear yourself.

8.  What other types of donations do you accept?

Valor Ministries is always in need of office supplies. Items that go quickly are 24 or 26 weight copier/printer paper, pens, manila file folders, hanging file folders, large shipping labels, paper clips, tape, post it notes, staples, colored paper, and name tags.

We try to make our center warm and welcoming for our clients. Donations of coffee, tea, coffee filters, styrofoam and plastic cups, napkins, paper towels, paper plates, plastic ware, sugar, creamer, kitchen and large trash bags, Kleenex tissues, and lint rollers are always appreciated. So are individually wrapped cookies, crackers, and other snack items, as well as small bottles of Gatorade, which are in high demand for our homeless clients.  Please contact Shannon McCullough at 240-329-9387 or shannon.mccullough@thevalorcenter.org to arrange a time to bring in your donations.

If you are considering donating desktop or laptop computers, monitors, keyboards, software, and other network devices, please contact Steven Wriston at steven.wriston@thevalorcenter.org to see what the current need is or if your equipment is compatible with our existing operations.

9.  How can I become a fundraiser for Valor Ministries?

It is easier than you think!  Peer-to-peer fundraising is a method of fundraising that leverages supporters of Valor Ministries to fundraise on our behalf.  It’s also known as social fundraising, personal and/or team fundraising, or p2p fundraising.  If you would like to find out more, click HERE for more information.

10.    How to I donate anonymously?

Please alert Valor Ministries on the memo line of your check or when using the online donation app of your intention to donate anonymously. Or, you may include a quick note with your donation by mail or email at involved@thevalorcenter.org. Your donation will not be shared with any other entity, including Valor Ministries’ staff and volunteers. Your donation remains tax deductible and a year-end receipt will be sent to you.

11.   Are gifts to Valor Ministries tax-deductible?  Will I get a receipt?

Women of Valor Ministries, Inc. d/b/a Valor Ministries is a 501c3 non-profit public charity, as recognized by the IRS. We are qualified to receive tax deductible donations and all donations to us are tax deductible. For tangible goods, we are not permitted to estimate a financial value of the gift. You will need to keep your receipts or do your homework to find out what your used items are worth. Please contact your tax advisor for further clarification.

If you donate online, you will receive a receipt after each contribution you make.  For those donating by check, cash, or in-kind donation, you will receive a year-end tax-deductible donation summary letter by the end of each January for the prior tax year. If you would like an immediate, individual receipt for a certain donation, please contact Lori Wriston at 240-329-9387, ext. 303, or email lori.wriston@thevalorcenter.org. Make sure you keep all letters for income tax purposes.

12.  Do you give, rent or sell my information to other organizations?

Valor Ministries does not sell, rent, lease, give, or lend mailing lists to other organizations for them to use for any fundraising purpose.

13.  How do I remove my name from your email distribution or mailing list, but continue donating?

Donors may ask to be removed from our email distribution list by opting out through Constant Contact. The opt out button is at the bottom of each email. Once you opt out, only you can opt back in. Please do not mark us as spam when you receive emails or when opting out, as this negatively affects our rating with Constant Contact. If you would like to be removed from our mailing list, please call Lori Wriston at 240-329-9387, ext. 303, or email lori.wriston@thevalorcenter.org.

14.  How do I learn more about Valor Ministries’ financial stability?

Donors and/or potential donors may request financial information regarding Valor Ministries by contacting Lori Wriston at 240-329-9387, ext. 303, or by email at lori.wriston@thevalorcenter.org. We provide a statement of financial position and budget overview, as well as answer any questions you may have. We adhere to Valor Ministries’ Accounting Policies and Procedures Manual, dated 5/27/14.

Copies of our 501c3 designation, articles of incorporation, and by-laws are also available by request. Valor Ministries, D12692323, is in “good standing” with the state of Maryland. Our most recent IRS 990 Form was submitted 5/7/16. Our EIN Number is 26-3267359.

15.  Who governs Valor Ministries?

The nonprofit has an active board. This Board of Directors serves as the organization’s planning, advisory and policy-setting body. The Board formulates financial policies and reviews operations and activities. Currently, the Board meets no less than seven times per year.

Prayer:

1.   How can I pray for Valor Ministries?

There are several ways you can pray for Valor Ministries. You can post prayer requests and praise reports online at www.thevalorcenter.org/request-prayer.  Or, you can commit to adding our prayer requests to your group’s prayer team, prayer bulletins, or chains.    For more information, contact us at prayer@thevalorcenter.org.

2.  Why is prayer for Valor Ministries so important?

God’s Word tells us that Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these.  I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask for anything in my name, and I will do it.”  John 14:12-14

We believe in that truth and we know that everything we accomplish in His name starts with a foundation of prayer. We ask in the name of Jesus, with faith that He will do what He said He would to bring glory to the Father.

3.  What are some of your current prayer needs?

Right now, we need prayer for more mentors to step forward to guide our clients toward self-sufficiency and spiritual growth. We are also praying for someone with human resource and event/fundraising experience to join our volunteer team. Because we work to reduce the homeless rate in our county, we need volunteers who have experience in housing counseling.

Of course, increased financial support is always at the top of our prayer list. Without the funds to meet our budget, it is hard to focus on what is truly important—our mission and purpose. We are also asking God for favor with organizations who supply grant funding, city and county officials, churches, and civic organizations who may partner with us to meet our shared goals. We ask you to pray for our board of directors to make wise decisions so that we continue to be good stewards of all that God provides for us.

Advocacy:

1.  What is advocacy?

Advocacy is defined as any action that speaks in favor of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of others.

2.  How can you or your organization get more involved in advocating for Valor Ministries?

You can inform others in your sphere of influence about current economic, social, and spiritual problems affecting our community. Next, you can begin evaluating yourself and examine whether your efforts are addressing these problem areas. If not, how can you play a larger role in finding solutions?

To start, you can work in collaboration with groups, like Valor Ministries, whose objectives and values match up with yours. Together, pulling staff, volunteers, and resources, all parties involved should be better equipped to take on challenges and work for positive, long-lasting change.

3.  What are practical examples of advocating for Valor Ministries?

You can recommend or introduce us to other people or groups who may share similar passions and purpose. You can invite us to your church or organization to present information about Valor Ministries’ programs and services or partnership and volunteer opportunities. Another option is to place Valor Ministries’ resource information at your place of business, church, or event to share with those who are in need.

You could also contact those in our community who have the financial resources to keep Valor Ministries in operation. Do you know people who serve on other philanthropic boards or foundations that you could make a connection with on our behalf? Invite your friends or associates to take a tour of our facility and show them first-hand the great work that is being done. Once people walk through our doors, they are amazed at what God is accomplishing through our efforts. You could be just the person God wants to use to help take us to the next level.