SOOP provides short-term service opportunities for families and adults of all ages, and is designed to join the experiences and skills of adults with missional faith communities all across North America. Through Mennonite Mission Network, SOOP arranges short-term placements ranging from a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
There are about
70 SOOP sites throughout North America, including Puerto Rico and a handful of international locations. SOOP staff and participants, along with our local partners, discern the location, time, and length of assignment that best fit current needs.
SOOP accepts applications year-round. The application process can take up to one month.
Click here to get your application started!
Certainly not! Many people who are still employed are eager to serve, and choose to use vacation time to serve. Families have been known to use spring break or summer vacation to serve. Granted, many SOOP participants are of retirement age, but adults of any age, and families, are encouraged to participate.
Of course! Perhaps you’re finding yourself at a crossroads in life, or maybe you just need a change of scenery. A short-term service assignment might be a great fit for you. Whether you’re 24 or 74, we will work at finding a placement where you can share your gifts and skills.
SOOP has a minimum one week of service requirement.
Yes! Some SOOP volunteers have chosen to do multiple assignments back-to-back; others return to the same service location year after year, while others choose new locations every year.
Sort of. While consideration is given to your location preference, the SOOP director works with local coordinators to determine if your particular skills meet their current needs, if they can accommodate volunteers during your preferred time frame, and if they have housing available.
At each SOOP location there is a local coordinator who administers the program. They will be your contact person at the location and will give you direction while you are on site.
New applicants will need to complete the SOOP application, provide three references, and participate in a short interview. Returning SOOP volunteers do not need to go through the application process again, but may
contact the SOOP director directly.
The SOOP volunteer is responsible for travel costs. Lodging and food costs vary from location to location and are determined by local communities. Most SOOP sites arrange for lodging or RV hook-ups for participants. For more detailed information on a specific site, visit the Service Opportunities page.
It depends on the location. All SOOP locations operate under local autonomy. Thus, each location has different levels of hosting capabilities. Some locations have readily available housing facilities (such as church camps), while others solicit housing specifically for SOOP volunteers, and you’ll be asked to help cover the costs that are incurred with the housing. The same is true for food costs.
SOOP is a network of relationships—relationships between volunteers, Mennonite Mission Network, and hosting locations. The role of the SOOP director is to connect volunteers and host locations in a way that benefits you and your hosts in the best way. As you become part of this “connecting network,” you are part of something bigger than your own particular time of service.