Volunteer FAQ

What's the location for the Christmas party?

The Christmas Party is being held at the Dallas Convention Center, 650 S Griffith St, Dallas, Exhibit Halls A and B.

What parking is available?

The Dallas DART Red and Blue Lines have a stop directly under the Convention Center. There are transfers from the Green Line to Red/Blue at several downtown locations and from the Trinity Line at Union Station. There is also bus service near the Center. Parking underneath the convention center is $12.

Where do I go once I get to the Dallas Convention Center?

Find the front of the building, facing Marilla Street, and look for the Volunteer Entrance sign at the main Plaza.

What are the times for the event?

The doors for Guests open at 8:30am and the event concludes at 5pm. However, we need to have volunteers that arrive before the doors open and will remain after the event is over, so there are shifts for most of the activities for volunteers. Volunteer registration opens at 5:30am. Please register on the sign-up system to confirm your activity and shift. We ask that you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your shift to give yourself time to sign in at the volunteer desk and to find your area.

What if I cannot be there on the 21st, are there other opportunities to help?

Yes, you can sign up to help prepare (see below) and there are other activities that Operation Care does for the homeless that you can participate in.

What can I do to help prepare?

There are many opportunities to help in advance. Initiate and sponsor drives for goods and funds (see the OpCare.org website to see what is needed.) Additionally, there is much preparation that is needed to make this event successful for our homeless guests. Please look at the sign-up system to see what days and where your time and talents can help in advance of the event.

Can I bring a friend/family/relative?

Yes, but please ask them to sign up in advance. If you bring someone on the day of the event they will be welcome, but we must use volunteers in activities where they are needed.

Can I bring my children?

Yes, but we would prefer that they be 12 years or older. Insurance and other logistical reasons establish this requirement. There are no child sitting services at the event.

How can I let others know about this event?

You can point them to the OpCare.org website, or send the link that you received by mail for them to sign up for activities.

Why do I need to sign up on the system to volunteer? Can't I just come to the event?

We ask everyone to sign up on the system so that we know that we have enough volunteers for all activities where needed. If you just come to the event we may not have your volunteer preferences, or worst case, not have useful work when you arrive.

How will my information on the sign up system be used?

The information is private and only for Operation Care International. It will be used to assure that we have volunteers where needed and provide you other opportunities to help within Operation Care. We do not sell or provide your information to any outside party.

Can my friend/relative sign up if they do not have an email?

Yes, please do. An email is required for sign up, but you can put "None" in that location.

What if I am late or need to leave earlier than my shift?

Please try and arrive on time and remain throughout your shift. It is a greater burden on other volunteers if you are not able to participate the entire time. In any case, your participation is appreciated and welcomed. Please let your volunteer coordinator know so they can plan around your schedule.

What do I wear?

Please wear a RED TOP - t-shirt, sweater, shirt, etc. This is how we differentiate volunteers from our guests. We recommend jeans or pants for all volunteers, and it is important to wear comfortable shoes for standing. Operation Care will also be selling red T-shirts at volunteer check-in for $10, on the day of the event.

Will I be standing or sitting?

Most volunteer activity is standing or kneeling. Please dress appropriately.

What do I bring?

Bring your love, hope for others, and a smiling happy face. These are also your gifts to our homeless guests. You should also bring warm clothing if you are working outside registration. We also ask volunteers to bring a Gift to the Homeless. Suggested gift: $10.00 There will be a donation box in the registration area or you may chose to donate through the OpCareInt.org website.

Will there be a place for my coat/purse/personal items?

There are few secure areas within the convention halls. Please do not bring valuable coats, clothing or personal items. We strongly recommend not bringing purses unless it is something like a waist pouch. Please don't wear valuable jewelry or dangling necklaces or bracelets.

Will I get food or drinks?

You may eat with the guests, and there will be water at a minimum.

What if it is raining or cold?

Our guests live in all kind of conditions - indoors and out. They will be there, no matter the weather conditions. Please come dressed appropriately.

Is it dangerous being around homeless people?

In general, NO! We have not had any serious issues in previous years. They are God's people just as we are. Many of our guests live in harsh conditions, however, and things can be occasionally be challenging. Please let security or staff know if you observe any potentially serious issues.

Will there be security?

YES. There will be police, security and specially trained volunteer staff.

Can I donate to help?

YES ! You can sponsor drives for goods and funds (see the OpCareInt.org website to see what is needed. Also, please bring $10 to the event to help the Homeless.

Can/should I bring something to donate?

YES, if it is part of the drives and donations in advance of the event. The event is well planned in advance, but is unable to handle individual donations at last minute or day of the event.

Where can I bring coats/clothing, toys and personal hygiene items in advance of the event?

The warehouse is located at 3113 Glenfield Ave, Dallas, TX 75233.

Can I sign up for more than one activity?

Yes, as long as they are not at the same time.

What if the activity that I want is not available?

You can express interest in case a slot becomes available, however, we would very much appreciate your contribution in another area. All volunteer opportunities are for the homeless, not for us.

Can I change my mind once I sign up?

Yes, sign in with your user id and password, and make adjustments on your "My Activities" tab. Changes cannot be made after 72 hours in advance of the event. Please contribute as a volunteer to your signed up area.

Can I come even if I haven't signed up in advance?

Yes, but if you just come to the event we may not have your volunteer preferences, or worst case, not have useful work when you arrive.

What if I can't come even after I have signed up?

Sign in with your user id and password, and remove yourself from the scheduled activities. This will open your slot for other volunteers.

What will I be doing once I get there?

There are descriptions for each of the activities listed on MyVolunteerPage.com system. Please review them. There is also training available on the OpCare.org website for volunteers, which provides further information. There is also specific training for selected, detailed volunteer activities.

Can I change activities once I get there?

We hope you will provide your service as you have signed up but you can check with the volunteer registration team at the entrance of the Dallas Convention Center to see if changes are possible.

What if I don't like what I am doing?

Almost all of our volunteers like what they are doing once they "get into it". The Christmas Party is a wonderful and satisfying experience. You are providing a blessing to those that are in greatest need. However, if there is an opportunity for you to change activities without negatively impacting our service, you may be able to do so.

Are there clean restrooms?

Yes, there are clean restrooms. Some are specifically for staff and volunteers.

Are there changing rooms for volunteers?

No, other than the restrooms.

Is there a separate handicapped entrance?

Yes, the handicapped entrance is in front of the Convention Center. There are elevators from the garage, and a handicapped drop-off point on Marilla Street on the north side of the Center.

Can my time volunteering be used for community service hours?

Yes, but you must sign up in advance and check in at the volunteer registration desk so that your time will be recorded.