Julianne Alberty's blog

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Financial Accounting Foundation Helps to Stamp Out Hunger

In this week's blog, we are thrilled to be spotlighting the Financial Accounting Foundation and the incredible work they did to help prepare 8,000 bags for the National Postal Food Drive to benefit three food pantries in Westport - Homes with Hope, The Westport Woman's Club Food Pantry, and The Westport Food Pantry.

Every year the National Association of Letter Carriers hosts the annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive across the country. This year the event was held on May 11th. To prepare for the event each year, Homes with Hope in Westport needs to prepare 10,000 bags with a sticker and label so that they can be delivered to homes several days in advance. Residents are asked to fill the bags and leave them near their mailboxes on Saturday, May 11th for the postal workers to pick up and deliver to the food pantries. Maureen Liebergall, Community Relations Director of Homes with Hope was so grateful that the Financial Accounting Foundation team was willing to help prep the bags, a project that she usually looks for a company to complete. This food drive fills the Homes with Hope's food pantry for the entire summer, it's very important to the clients that use their services. The bags were donated by Fresh Market this year.

Gault Cares Volunteers at Earthplace

Spring is here, just in time for the employees from Gault Family Companies to complete their first Gault Cares volunteer event at Earthplace in Westport, CT. Volunteer Square was thrilled to help coordinate the first employee volunteer event for the company, having worked with the Gault team back in December when they made Homemade Holiday Cards for Circle of Care Families. 

gault care.jpgWhen we first began discussing employee volunteer projects for 2019, Earthplace was the first organization to come to mind. The leadership team at Gault, was passionate about supporting Earthplace and thought this would be a great project to kick off the Gault Cares program. After a very detailed site visit at Earthplace in November 2018 to determine the scope of the projects, the Gault leadership team assigned project managers to each major task that needed to be completed and also created some opportunities for general clean up. A second site visit in March with the project managers and the staff of Earthpace, helped to determine the materials and number of people needed for each task. The project managers, Tina Bahr, Chris Bianco, Andy Dehler, Kevin Lago and Kevin Rackliffe were then ready to get to work with their teams.

Volunteer Spotlight on Jean Kaiser

“Every act of kindness you do pays off and you should always pay it forward. That’s what we are here for, to take care of each other.” This is how Jean Kaiser describes why she’s been a dedicated volunteer throughout her life. Nominated by Person-to-Person, we are thrilled to recognize Jean in our Volunteer Spotlight.

 

Growing up in Mobile, Alabama, Jean started volunteering as soon as she was old enough to do so. The first volunteer project she remembers was selling donuts on the median of the highway to raise money for children in need.  Her parents taught her at a very young age to give back to her community and it certainly stuck. Raising her children in Westport, CT, she started an afterschool program and encouraged all the kids that attended to volunteer by the time they were in the 6th grade. They would stock shelves at the food pantries, volunteer at Senior Centers, and host food drives. Her volunteering rubbed off on her children as well. She and her daughter volunteered for the Mercy Learning Center and her daughter was also participated in the AIDS quilt program. Jean and her daughter love the Mercy Learning Center and the wonderful things they do for women and education. Her daughter even went back and worked as a teacher there after college.

Fun and Easy Tips to Recognize Your Volunteers

Volunteers are often humble and don't want or need any praise, but managers like to do things to recognize the hard work and commitment their volunteers make to the organization. Volunteers are essential to nonprofit organizations and often play key roles in programs and initiatives. Managers want to make them feel appreciated for the work they do and recognition equals retention, so it's a win, win for all. Do you work with volunteers that you would like to recognize?

Check out our list of fun, easy and inexpensive ways to honor the individuals that give their time and energy to your cause. For more information about volunteering in your community, visit our site today. You can sign up to receive custom emails, subscribe to our newsletter and "like" us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too!

Feed Them
We know that food can spark positive attitudes and it promotes social activity. Bring some snacks and encourage volunteers to take a quick break and get to know each other.

Coupons
Contact local eateries about donating a BOGO free coupon specifically for your volunteers. Put the coupons in a thank you card and wow your volunteers with unexpected mail.

Send a Birthday Wish
If you happen to keep your volunteers’ birthdays on record, make use of the milestone to show your appreciation. Surprise and delight volunteers with a birthday card, or give them a shout out on social media.

Tips for Volunteering in the Winter Weather

After this cold, snowy, and rainy weekend it seemed appropriate to start the week with some tips for volunteering in the winter. Snowstorms may not necessarily impact your volunteer plans but it’s always good to be safe, prepared and creative. Check out our tips below to consider for winter volunteering and don't forget to visit us at VolunteerSquare.com to sign up for our free custom e-alerts so we can keep you up-to-date on the latest volunteer needs here in Connecticut. Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, too!

Check in advance! Be crystal clear on your agency’s weather policy from the word go. Check the weather forecast and call your supervisor, check for news updates, or check your E-mail and social media alerts announcing delays, closures or other changes of plans.

If you’re very concerned about the weather and the agency stays open, stay home. While we love volunteer commitment as much as our agencies do, you should never put yourself at risk when roads are getting slippery. This especially applies if you have a lengthy drive to your agency. Volunteer coordinators will understand the treacherous conditions faced by drivers and will be happy to reschedule your hours for another time, assuming they haven’t done so already.

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