Engage in a year of meaningful service, fostering profound, genuine relationships, and experiencing the joys and challenges of lifesharing in a therapeutic, rural community environment.
Innisfree Village is a residential, life-sharing community with adults with intellectual disabilities in a rural, therapeutic farm environment. The true work of Innisfree is the people-to-people relationships that develop in the course of daily living and community sharing. We are seeking residential volunteers who are compassionate, enthusiastic, and committed to a one year service experience.
Innisfree is located at the foothills of the Shenandoah National Park in rural Crozet, VA. Also located near the Blue Ridge Parkway and the urban college cities of Charlottesville and Richmond, VA.
About Innisfree Village
Founded in 1971, a group of parents who were searching for a progressive alternative to institutional care for their growing children with intellectual disabilities, envisioned a place where they would share their lives with their caregivers and would be considered family members. Now, after more than 50 years, Innisfree strives to be a model therapeutic community where individuals with and without disabilities can contribute and explore in a meaningful and challenging life.
Innisfree is dedicated to building and fostering an environment of beauty, warmth, and respect for all. Residents (whom we call coworkers), volunteers, and staff live, work, and play together on a 550-acre farm in a therapeutic environment emphasizing empowerment, interdependence, and mutual respect of all community members.
The Employee Experience
As a residential volunteer with Innisfree, individuals will experience the joys and challenges of a life-sharing
community, learning to be open to new experiences, expanding their skills, and uncovering new gifts and
talents. At the core of the volunteer experience, is the building of genuine connections with coworkers
as well as other community members. This fostering of community is what allows each individual to develop
genuine relationships, and promote an environment of inclusion and acceptance.
Residential Volunteers live together with coworkers in family-style homes throughout the village, providing support for the daily care, health, and emotional needs of each coworker. While some coworkers are more independent, some need more support with personal hygiene and other medical care needs.
Volunteers become part of the household, bringing warmth and sharing with their housemates the more practical responsibilities of maintaining a clean and beautiful home. Daily cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, and finance management, allow the home to run smoothly and create greater opportunities for volunteers to provide ongoing support to their coworkers.
Engagement in Innisfree’s numerous therapeutic workstations is a part of daily community life. Through the meaningful and varied opportunities in the art studio, bakery, community kitchen, farm, herb and vegetable gardens, pottery, weavery, and woodshop, volunteers provide additional guidance and support to their coworkers, encouraging them to pursue their own creative passions and skill development, while having the unique opportunity to develop and learn new practical and creative skills for themselves.
Volunteers come from across the globe to serve in the community. With a broad demographic of life experiences, personal backgrounds, and cultural traditions, volunteers enrich the community through their gifts, talents, and individuality. Fully participating in the events of daily life, along with special gatherings and social events, offer unique opportunities to develop connections that can last a lifetime.
Innisfree Village is looking for motivated, passionate, and conscientious candidates dedicated to rural
community living with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A life-sharing experience with
Innisfree Village gives individuals unique experiences for discovery and growth:
- Through the development of meaningful relationships and connections with individuals from all walks of life.
- Through the building of skills and knowledge in community living, caregiving, and therapeutic work.
- Through opportunities to have a positive impact on the lives of others.
Life at Innisfree requires patience, a good sense of humor, and a willingness to learn and adapt. Where profound joys and real-life challenges go hand in hand, emotional maturity, and health are essential factors for success. We are seeking individuals who are compassionate, enthusiastic, and committed to a meaningful service experience.
Previous experience working with individuals with disabilities is a plus, but not required. During a volunteer's first month, training is provided in all areas of village life through a combination of structured instruction and hands-on application, with guidance and support along the way from a variety of community members. The orientation period is designed to give our volunteers a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, while also embracing and utilizing an individual's existing knowledge, skills, abilities, and life experiences in order to create a well-rounded and personalized training and orientation experience.
The key to Innisfree's continuing success is the ability to attract and retain dedicated volunteers who combine a concern for people with intellectual disabilities with a desire to contribute their talents to the challenge of creating a community to call home. Working with adults with disabilities can be challenging at times but the rewards of helping another discover personal dignity and self-worth more than compensates for our efforts.
- Candidates commit to one year of service, with the option for additional year(s) of service
- Candidates will have the equivalent of a high school diploma. Further college or comparable experience is a plus.
- Candidates exhibit patience, flexibility, and a sense of humor
Room and Board
Each residential volunteer lives in one of our 10 residential homes along with other fellow volunteers, staff, and our coworkers (residents with disabilities). As a volunteer, all meals and housing are provided, with volunteers becoming part of the household and contributing to the making of house meals as a daily routine. Private bedrooms are provided for each individual, shared bathrooms with 1 or 2 others, and communal living spaces make up the main parts of the home.
Besides room and board, all volunteers are provided with an $800 monthly stipend (for personal expenses), health insurance (for U.S. volunteers only), 2 Consecutive days off per week,15 Paid vacation days ($75 per day) and 5 unpaid holidays, access to community vehicles, access to the onsite fitness facility, student loan deferral (financial loan support offered after one year), and training in first aid, CPR, medical assistance, and personal care.
The true gift of Innisfree is the people-to-people interactions that develop in the course of daily living and sharing with one another. At Innisfree, we call this life-sharing, and by fully committing to a rich participation in community life, volunteers have the opportunity to build lasting friendships, value the therapeutic work they do, and experience a rewarding year of meaningful service.
Getting Here and Getting Around
If you have a personal vehicle, you are welcome to bring it with you and utilize it on your time off. For those volunteers without transportation, but who have a valid driver's license, we have access to a fleet of Innisfree vehicles. These cars are for village use and day off options for those who do not have their own vehicle.
If you are joining us by other means of transportation (i.e. plane, bus, train), pick-up arrangements by someone from Innisfree can be made in advance.
Because Innisfree is situated in a rural farming environment, about 20 minutes away from the closest city, public transportation is not available.
The Innisfree community resides in a rural area, surrounded by farmland and the quiet beauty of the mountains and the changing seasons. With the Blue Ridge Mountains as our backyard and the Shenandoah National Park close by, it is an excellent spot for individuals who love the outdoors, but its close proximity to culture-rich cities and towns such as Charlottesville and Richmond provides opportunities for more nightlife activities and enriching experiences. For the more adventurous, even bigger cities such as Washington, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City are just a day's train ride away.
How to Apply
Visit our website to learn more and apply online via the link below!