Verified Volunteers screening thousands for World Meeting of Families

This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.

Verified Volunteers was approached by the World Meeting of Families to do all the background checks for all of its 10,000 volunteers needed for the week-long event at the end of September. (Verified Volunteers)

It will take more than just a city to run the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia from Sept. 21 through 27.

That’s why the World Meeting of Families will have 10,000 volunteers on hand during the entire week to help in any way possible.

Verified Volunteers, a background screening provider, is taking on the monumental task of performing checks on each of the thousands of applicants vying for one of the 10,000 spots.

…[Please continue the story on the Daily Local News website by clicking here.]

“This is a very niche space, but we are now the largest volunteer background screening provider in the country,” said Tom Klein, executive director at Verified Volunteers. “We work with thousands of volunteer programs and nonprofits and many more thousands of volunteer managers and the World Meeting of Families heard about us through word of mouth.”

This won’t be the largest event Verified Volunteers has screened for, but it is up there.

However, the World Meeting of Families will be the most secured event with FBI and Secret Service involved throughout the week.

“It’s in the larger end of our customer set, but nothing we haven’t done before, but it’s definitely a significant project and a significant undertaking” Klein said. “The visibility and the high-profile nature of the Pontiff’s visit is something we’re taking into account.”

The World Meeting of Families called for 10,000 volunteers and Verified Volunteers will be handling the screening of each and every applicant.

The background checks the company is running goes deep down every level, from state to county and even local municipalities. They will also be checking names and any former names or aliases a person may have.

“The volume has been very steady since the launch in April,” Klein said. “We’ve seen well over 9,000 volunteers go through our system. We’re paying very careful attention and that’s why World Meeting has decided to run our complete criminal locator, which is our most comprehensive screening, covering in-depth searches where people live now, where they lived in the past and where they worked, played and traveled across the country. It’s a very robust search.”

It sounds like a lot of work, but for the applicant, it’s relatively easy.

“Potential participants go through a four- or five-minute process registering and signing up for potential opportunities and then going through the screening process,” Klein said. “After you sign up for some events, you’d submit some personal information about yourself that helps us conduct the background check.”

David Dorsey, a local resident who volunteered, went through Verified Volunteers for his check.

“We had to submit our name and a short bio and history about ourselves,” he said. “Then we received a message back that it came back OK – that there wasn’t anything in my background negative to keep me from being a volunteer.”

Dorsey was encouraged by the Alumni Office at St. Joseph’s University to help out during the Pontiff’s visit.

“A number of us stepped up and said we’d like to volunteer,” he said. “I’m always willing to help other people. We’re all excited to have the Pope to come to Philadelphia. It’s quite an honor for Philadelphia to have that.”

The results of the background check typically come back very quickly, usually within a day or two. It can vary, however, depending on how many checks need to be run on the applicant.

Verified Volunteers, which runs out of New York City and has offices in four states across the country, has approved volunteers in large numbers from all the states.

“It’s incredible,” Klein said. “The majority are from the Tri-State Area, but we have volunteers from all 50 states. People are really gearing up for this and thrilled to be in attendance.”

Verified Volunteers has been a growing company, but the World Meeting of Families has really thrown them in the spotlight.

“This World Meeting project and commitment to them, well, our phones won’t stop ringing,” Klein said. “People trust the World Meeting of Families’ decision and we’re thrilled to be working with them.”


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Categories: Community, Religion, World Meeting of Families, World News

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