Volunteer: Policies


Donations to Sites Where We Work

During past Buds to Blossoms programs, when volunteers donated seemingly useful or harmless items to orphanages and other sites where our team works, they usually caused unexpected problems, including distress and injuries to children and difficulties for their caregivers. Therefore, volunteers may now only make donations of money and bags of rice or fresh fruit. You may not bring any other kinds of donations to deliver or distribute.

Minimum Age

The minimum age for participation in the volunteer program is 18. Exceptions to this requirement are not granted when a parent wishes to have their child join the program with them.

Application and Enrollment

To enroll in the volunteer program, you must submit an application here, sign a volunteer agreement, have a criminal background check performed, receive notification your application has been accepted, and pay or fundraise to cover your deposit.
 
Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis: Volunteers are enrolled in the order they pay or fundraise to cover their deposits, up to a limit of eleven volunteers per program week, or fewer for some programs.

Deposits, Participation Fees and Deadlines

A deposit of USD$300 per week you will join is due by the deadline of six months before the program starts.
 
Your full participation fee is due by the deadline of four months before the program starts. The participation fee varies with the number of weeks you intend to join the program and whether or not you request financial aid. See the Costs page of this site for more details.
 
You may still submit your application after the deposit and participation fee deadlines have passed. The latest date when it is practical to begin the application and enrollment process is typically one to three weeks before the program starts.

Extensions

Extensions to the deadlines stated above may be granted on request. An extension is permission to pay and/or fundraise to cover your deposit and/or participation fee after the deadline(s) and before the program starts. However, an extension does not secure you a space in the program or confirm your enrollment. If all the spaces in your desired program dates are taken before you cover your deposit, you will have to join other program dates. If you cover your deposit but fail to cover your full participation fee before the program starts, you will not be allowed to join the program until you have covered the participation fee by fundraising and/or paying out of pocket.

Fundraising Groundrules

See Fundraising Groundrules for policies that apply to fundraising.

Account Balance/Credit Transfers

Donations and payments received and amounts due for one volunteer's fundraiser or account with Buds to Blossoms cannot be transferred to another volunteer's fundraiser or account, or to any person, organization, corporation or other entity, under any circumstances.

Postponement, Rescheduling and Cancellations

If you postpone, reschedule or cancel...

You may postpone, reschedule or cancel your enrollment in the volunteer program without penalty if Buds to Blossoms staff receive notification of your intent to do so by six months before the program in which you're enrolled starts. In this case, deposits and participation fees you paid will be credited toward your participation in another Buds to Blossoms program with a start date no more than one year later than the program in which you originally enrolled or refunded to you on request. Donations that were received for your fundraiser will be credited toward your participation in another Buds to Blossoms program with a start date no more than one year later than the program in which you originally enrolled, but will not be refunded.
 
If Buds to Blossoms staff receive notification of your intent to postpone, reschedule or cancel less than six months before the program in which you're enrolled starts, your deposit is forfeited and cannot be refunded or credited toward participation in a future program, regardless of whether it was covered by donations that were received for your fundraiser or out-of-pocket payments you made. Donations that were received for your fundraiser, less the deposit, will be credited toward your participation in another Buds to Blossoms program with a start date no more than one year later than the program in which you originally enrolled, but will not be refunded.
 
If Buds to Blossoms staff receive notification of your intent to postpone, reschedule or cancel less than four months before the program in which you're enrolled starts, your full participation fee is forfeited and cannot be refunded or credited toward participation in a future program, regardless of whether it was covered by donations that were received for your fundraiser or out-of-pocket payments you made. Donations that were received for your fundraiser, less the participation fee, will be credited toward your participation in another Buds to Blossoms program with a start date no more than one year later than the program in which you originally enrolled, but will not be refunded.
 
If you postpone, reschedule or cancel your enrollment and fail to participate in another Buds to Blossoms program with a start date no more than one year later than the program in which you originally enrolled, donations and payments received by Buds to Blossoms for your fundraiser and account become part of Buds to Blossoms' general fund and are no longer available to cover your costs to join another program.
 
If Buds to Blossoms cancels the volunteer program...

If Buds to Blossoms cancels the volunteer program before its start date, you are entitled to credit toward participation in a future program or a full refund for any deposits and participation fees you paid out of pocket that have not been expended on airfares, lodging, background checks, travel insurance, visas, or other program-related costs.
 
If Buds to Blossoms cancels the volunteer program on or after its start date and before its end date, you are entitled to a prorated credit toward participation in a future program or a prorated refund for any deposits and participation fees you paid out of pocket that have not been expended on airfares, lodging, background checks, travel insurance, visas, or other program-related costs.
 
Regardless of when Buds to Blossoms cancels the volunteer program, donations that were received for your fundraiser and that were not expended on participation fees, airfares, lodging, background checks, travel insurance, visas, or other program-related costs will be credited toward your participation in another Buds to Blossoms program with a start date no more than one year later than the program in which you originally enrolled, but will not be refunded. Furthermore, Buds to Blossoms will not refund or reimburse you for airfares, lodging, background checks, travel insurance, visas, or other purchases, expenditures or losses of any kind if the program is cancelled.

Refunds and Reimbursements

Buds to Blossoms will not refund or reimburse deposits or participation fees under any circumstances other than those described above. No satisfaction guarantee is offered.
 
Donations received for a volunteer's fundraiser are always non-refundable, regardless of when Buds to Blossoms cancels the volunteer program or when a volunteer postpones, reschedules or cancels their participation in the program.
 
After the program begins, participation fees will not be refunded in part or in whole or credited toward a future program if a volunteer's participation is concluded prior to the program's end date and time due to illness or injury, violations of program rules or any reason other than Buds to Blossoms cancelling the program early.
 
Any expenses incurred by you or Buds to Blossoms when sending and receiving payments to your account with Buds to Blossoms or issuing refunds or reimbursements to you (including, but not limited to, bank fees for wire transfers, fees Stripe.com and paypal.com charge you or Buds to Blossoms when receiving or withdrawing payments, mailing expenses, stop payment fees for lost checks, and foreign exchange fees) are your responsibility and will not be refunded or reimbursed. These expenses will be deducted from the available funds in your account with Buds to Blossoms and from the amounts refunded or reimbursed to you.
 
A refund or reimbursement may be issued as a check, cash, direct deposit, or electronic transfer, at Buds to Blossoms' discretion, regardless of how you made the payment that is being reimbursed.
 
Refunds and reimbursements will not be made for expenses related to fundraising activities.