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Police Athletic League of Philadelphia


Make a Difference

The Police Athletic League of Philadelphia keeps kids safe by providing them a place to go after school where they can participate in supervised athletic, academic and cultural activities. In order to keep all of the activities running smoothly, PAL relies on the help of volunteers to coach, mentor, tutor and assist Center Directors with everyday procedures.

Volunteering at PAL is important and rewarding work. It requires dedication to PAL’s mission, commitment to volunteer responsibilities, and understanding of the importance of every task. There are a variety of ways to get involved. Please visit the list of Volunteer and Support Staff Opportunities, and Frequently Asked Questions below.

I want to get involved but I'm not sure where to begin. What is the process to become a volunteer?

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with PAL! To start the process, determine which center is realistic for you to travel to on a consistent basis. Visit the Center Locations page for a list of all addresses and phone numbers. Be prepared to provide specific hours you are ready to commit to and for how long.

Talk to the PAL Center Director at the location you are interested in to see which programs need support and if your schedule will fit. If you are able to commit to the center’s volunteer opportunities, the Center Director will give you an application to complete and return. You may receive a phone call within two weeks for a phone interview with a PAL staff member. You must provide a valid phone number on the application where you can be reached for the interview. The Volunteer Coordinator will then process your clearances and notify you when you can begin working at the PAL center. PAL is fortunate enough to receive many volunteer applications.

Our volunteer opportunities are based on the service needs of each center; therefore we match applicants’ skills, availability and experience to our current needs.

What is the minimum age to become a volunteer?

The minimum age to volunteer at a PAL center is 16 years old. Any volunteer 18 and older must complete the background check process. 16 and 17 year old volunteers are not subjected to a background check but will still complete the volunteer application.

It is the Center Director’s discretion to only accept adult volunteers. When you determine which center is best for you, check with the Center Director to determine his or her policy before starting the application.

If you are under 16 years old, we suggest that you register as a PAL member and offer to help the Center Director with smaller tasks. Once you turn 16, you may apply to become an official volunteer.

Can I complete my court-ordered community service with PAL?

Any individuals seeking to volunteer with PAL to fulfill court-appointed or obligatory service hours must contact P/O Keith Balco at 215-291-9000, ext. 186.

Sports really aren't my thing. Are there other activities that need volunteer support?

Yes! PAL offers a variety of education and cultural programs in addition to athletics. Possible volunteer opportunities include tutoring at Homework Club or Computer Club and helping with Positive Images Girls Mentoring activities. You can also be a general center volunteer to help with everyday maintenance and procedures.

Can my group complete a volunteer project with PAL?

To schedule the project, call the Director of Programs and Education at 215-291-9000, ext. 119 or email: [email protected]. Please be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • How many volunteers do you expect to have in your group?
  • What is the age range of the group? If you have a group of youth, how many chaperons will be accompanying them?
  • Do you have an available budget to contribute to the project? This is not a hindrance, though may affect the type and size of projects available, especially for larger groups.
  • Does anyone in your group have professional skills (i.e. computer technician, construction, librarian, ect.)?
  • Are you volunteering as part of an organized “Company Cares Day?”
  • Is there a specific center or area of the city where you would like to focus your work?
What is the recommended time commitment to volunteer at PAL?

Time commitments vary per program, though we do ask that you commit through the duration of a program. For example, if you are volunteering as a soccer coach and the program runs every Tuesday and Thursday from April 1 through May 31, you are expected to volunteer Tuesday and / or Thursday throughout the entire program. Please notify the Center Director at the start of the program if you expect to have any schedule conflicts.

Positive Images, Computer Club and Homework Club positions require a commitment per semester (September to December, January to May / June) or for the entire year (September to May / June). Support Staff members must commit for the year.

All schedules will be determined and communicated through the PAL Center Director.

When working with children, it is natural to form mentoring relationships. PAL strongly discourages breaking a commitment mid-program since the children become emotionally invested and Center Directors rely on your help. If your availability may change before the end of a program, please wait to start volunteering until you are able to adhere to the regular time commitment.

Can I complete my school project with PAL?

Many students have completed high school, college and graduate level projects with PAL. Before contacting the Center Director, be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • Clearly explain the project.
  • How many hours do you need to complete?
  • When is your project due?
  • How much time will you need to spend with a staff member to gain information?
  • What information are you looking for?
  • Will you need to interview or survey children?
  • Will a staff member be responsible for signing an hours log and /or submitting documentation of your work?

Depending on the number of hours needed, you will be instructed to fill out a volunteer application or not.

If I just graduated from high school, college or trade school and I'm looking for a job, can I volunteer while I'm looking?

We suggest that you concentrate on finding a job first. Once you have secured employment, you’ll have a better idea of what days and times will work best for you to volunteer. You will know for sure if volunteering will still fit into your new schedule.

What is the difference between a support staff member and a volunteer? What should I do to be considered for a support staff position?

PAL offers a limited number of Support Staff opportunities per center. These are paid positions and require commitment for the entire school year.

Homework Club Instructor September through June, Monday through Thursday
(8 hours per week max)
Computer Club Instructor October through May, two nights per week
(6 hours per week max)
Positive Images Instructor October through May, one night per week
(3 hours per week max)
Dance Instructor
(limited centers)
October through May, one or two nights per week
(hours vary)
Attendance Coordinator
(limited centers)
September through June, Monday through Friday
(20 hours per week max)
My work / school is having a resource / volunteer fair. Can someone come out and talk about PAL?

This is something PAL is able to do if scheduling allows. Please contact Zurrell Toney at 215-291-9000, ext. 111 or email [email protected].


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