Don’t ask for help unless you can put that help to work

I had a 2 hour transit commute in order to volunteer for 53 minutes. Actually, I probably volunteered for 30 min and stood around for the rest waiting for instructions. Did I mention that there were 5 other women doing the same thing? This was supposed to be a 6 hour volunteer shift.

Panic, cry for help, help arrives only to watch you bumble around until little bits of usefulness seem to surface. That seems to be the sequence endured by volunteer envelope stuffers on a regular basis.

Where’s the plan, the checklist, supplies, who’s in charge, what about a briefer, let alone a greeter. The idea of using volunteer staff to get masses of details done means that the staff of the event/charity need to be managers not doers. They need to plan the activities, manage the volunteers, respond to questions and monitor the work.

The good news is that volunteer envelope stuffers are generally easy to find. They are good natured folks and want to contribute. They come with a variety of skills – if you ask them. Courtesy of social networks, you can find clusters of them. They are a free workforce to do all kinds of tasks.

But if you ask for help, you must be prepared to make use of that help when it arrives. You wouldn’t start packing for a move when the moving truck arrives, or would you?


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