Peer Support Volunteers

Compassionately Serving Our Community

Our services are provided primarily by trained volunteers who have experience in healing from their own personal loss. With the aid of professional staff and ongoing training, Kara's peer support volunteers provide crucial service to those grieving in our community. Please consider joining the team of over 200 volunteers who serve Kara’s mission annually.

Peer Support Model of Service

At the core of Kara’s identity is the belief that during times of grief even the most emotionally healthy people need the empathetic support of others who have similar experiences. Guided by empathy, our volunteers and staff uphold a passion for serving as a very personal healing force in the community. Key to the success of Kara’s mission is our peer support model (adopted from the Shanti Model), which advocates listening, speaking, and acting from the heart in service to others. Our peer support model is a philosophy and a set of tools that our trained volunteers use to support and serve those who are grieving.

I benefit immensely. To accompany a person, as they move through their grief process, is profound – giving us the experience of what is involved in truly being human.

Kara Peer Support Volunteer

Volunteer Training Program

All of our peer support volunteers complete a 21-hour training program which prepares them to support and accompany others along the grief process. Continued training is provided throughout the year in small and large group formats. All candidates are required to attend an initial information session and submit an application to be considered for enrollment. Our annual training class is held in early March and information sessions are conducted in January. Detailed Information is published in late-autumn. Please complete our contact form below to be notified about our next training cycle. For Spanish Speakers, click here to learn about how you can serve grieving Latinos.

Upcoming Training Information

Our next volunteer training will be held in early March 2020 (find all details below). Kara is seeking new volunteers who would like to learn how to support others through the grief process. Volunteer are needed to serve as:

  • Counselors for individual adults clients
  • Group facilitators to co-lead adult groups
  • Facilitators for grief groups for children, teens and parents
  • Grief Group Facilitators and Cabin Counselors for Camp Kara, a weekend camp for grieving children and teens
  • Outreach facilitators/speakers for community education and training
  • Outreach facilitators for on-site grief crisis response

In addition, volunteers with the following backgrounds/identities are needed:

  • Experience with suicide loss or spouse/partner loss
  • Diverse, multi-cultural backgrounds
  • Men
  • Bilingual speakers (Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese,Vietnamese)
  • Spanish speakers Click Here to learn about how you can serve grieving Latinos.

Informational Meetings will be held on Thursday, January 16th, and Tuesday, January 21st, 2020 from 7:00 – 8:30 PM at the Kara offices located at 457 Kingsley Avenue, Palo Alto. This meeting will include an overview of Kara’s services, the role of our volunteers, and videos of clients describing their support experiences. Space is limited and will be granted on a first registered basis. All potential volunteer candidates are required to attend one (1) of these Informational Meetings.

To register for an Informational Meeting, choose one of the following links:

Our 2020 training dates are March 6, 7 & 14. All potential volunteers must attend an information night and must complete an online application by end of day February 2, 2020. If chosen to participate in the training, volunteer candidates must attend all training dates.

Click on the icon link below to start your application. To view a flyer containing volunteer basic requirements, spring training dates and other key information, click here.

  • Sign Up to Receive Email Updates About Volunteer Training

Link to other Kara videos.