Volunteering at Good Cheer is fun, the hours are flexible, the people are nice, staff show you exactly what to do, and you’re truly helping people in need in our community.
Why does Good Cheer need volunteers?
There is far too much work at Good Cheer for paid staff to accomplish. The assistance of volunteers is essential and very much appreciated. Volunteering greatly increases the productive work Good Cheer can accomplish and more of our financial resources can go toward purchasing food to feed our community.
Why should I volunteer? What are the benefits?
Being part of an organization that serves the South End of Whidbey Island in a positive way is a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the community. Good Cheer serves not only as a Food Bank, but it provides the community a place for recycling items and for purchasing merchandise at a fair price.
Volunteering also gives people a chance to share their skills and/or develop new skills to improve their employability. Fostering relationships with like-minded community members is often at the top of the list when volunteers are asked why they offer their services to Good Cheer.
What qualifications are required of volunteers?
In general, the most successful volunteers share these traits:
- Empathy with clients, donors and the general public
- Reliability, integrity and professionalism
- Willingness to attend periodic training or retraining sessions in order to remain current with Good Cheer procedures
- Ability to work in a team environment
We ask all our volunteers to be of “good cheer”, providing an atmosphere of dignity and respect for everyone in a non-judgmental fashion.
What do volunteers do at Good Cheer?
In the Food Bank, volunteers can choose from a variety of activities, including:
- Stock shelves in the shopping and storage areas
- Check-in food bank clients using a database
- Assist and check-out food bank clients using the “points” system
- Re-package bulk foods
- Help keep the walk-in freezer and cooler organized
- Weigh and sort donated food items
- Drive to Seattle or Oak Harbor to pick up food orders
- Help out in the kitchen, processing surplus produce into value-added food products
In the Bayview Distribution Center, volunteers may:
- Receive or sort donations
- Clean and price donated goods
- Test electronic equipment
In the Langley Thrift Store and Good Cheer II at Ken’s Korner, volunteers are needed to:
- Stock shelves and clothing racks
- Stage items and create displays
- Tidy up, check for outdated items and rotate stock
- Help cashiers package items
- Manage a department such as books, toys, beauty aids, etc.
In the gardens, volunteers:
- Prepare beds for planting
- Plant seeds and starts in the greenhouses, transplant starts into the garden
- Weed beds
- Harvest produce
- Clean and package fresh produce
The Good Cheer Gleaners:
- Pick fruit from trees donated by community members
- Scout properties and donated trees
- Transport gleaned fruit to the Good Cheer food bank or community partners like WIN and the Senior Center
Volunteers also help with special events, including:
- Island County Fair and Parade
- Langley Pride Parade
- Harvest Party and Music Fest
- Children’s Day
- Child’s Chance to Give
What kind of time commitment is required?
Good Cheer recognizes that community volunteers have different schedules and needs. Some volunteers commit to the same day and time frame every week/month while others drop by when they have spare time, and others are on-call, coming when they’re most needed. We try to accommodate everyone’s schedules within our working hours.
How do I sign up? What paperwork is required?
Contact the volunteer coordinator at (360) 221-0130 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how your skills can be utilized by Good Cheer or stop by the site where you wish to volunteer for a tour and discussion with the site manager. There’s a short one-page application to complete. People volunteering to complete court- or school-ordered community service, have an additional one page agreement to sign and are responsible for generating their own required paperwork.
Are volunteer hours tracked? How? Why?
Record your volunteer hours on the volunteer calendar provided at each site. Each volunteer hour is valued at $20.85 which is used as matching funds when we seek financial support from foundations. For example, the 30,757 volunteer hours in 2012 translates to $641,283.50 in in-kind donations to Good Cheer.
Where do I park?
In Langley, park in the Methodist Church lot or in the city lot, both located on Third Street. For Good Cheer II, park in the Ken’s Korner Shopping Center parking lot, away from the store. At Bayview, park on the north side of the building, facing Grimm Road.