Corrections or additions?
This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the December 18, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Making the Most Of Holiday Volunteers
The urge to take part in some hands-on helping often
strikes at about the time Thanksgiving turkeys make their first appearance
and reaches a crescendo in the cold, dark days before the end of the
year. With goodwill a major theme of the season, and the urgency of
need easy to grasp against a backdrop of holiday cheer, many people
suddenly feel an urge to help out. Collecting coats, serving dinners
to the homeless, giving toys to children who have none, all of these
simple acts of charity seem important — necessary — during
the year-end holidays.
This is the time of year when non-profits get calls from individuals,
office groups, and families hoping to help out. Not thinking about
the organizational issues involved in putting untrained volunteers
to work with little notice, many people hope to put in a holiday appearance
at a soup kitchen or food bank.
Accommodate them all as best as possible. This is the message of Charity
Channel (www.charitychannel.com), an online resource for the non-profit
community. No, it is not easy, Georgean Johnson-Coffey acknowledges
in an article on the website, but the effort pays off richly long
term. Here’s her advice:
know how these folks are connected and they should always be viewed
as potential long term volunteers.
which you do not have to recruit. They will come — prepare, plan,
and involve them.
involve holiday volunteers.
with other area agencies that do utilize them. Refer interested people
to agencies that you know will be able to involve them.
start small. Acknowledge to them that this is a new service and tell
them they are part of a pilot program and they will help give feedback
for improvement for next year.
an interest in what your agency accomplishes. Take advantage of this.
Send a thank-you note to those who inquire with a list of current
needs that includes long and short-term volunteer opportunities. One
of these may spark future interests on their part.
what their passion, skills, and interests are. You may not be able
to place them at the holidays, but you may be able to plug them into
an upcoming event or opening.
opportunity to involve talented, motivated individuals. With the right
perspective, positive attitude, and careful planning, holiday volunteers
can indeed be precious gifts to volunteer programs, agencies, and
to our communities.
Windsor is now accepting applications for its Career Development
awards. These awards are given to women 25 years of age or older who
are continuing their education or are returning to school in a 2-year,
4-year, or vocational training program.
The application deadline is February 28. Call 609-443-4593 for an
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.