Why does Good Cheer need volunteers?
There is far too much work at Good Cheer for paid staff to accomplish alone. Volunteers greatly increase what Good Cheer can accomplish, and it allows more of our financial resources to go toward purchasing food to feed our community. The assistance of volunteers is essential and very much appreciated.
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, it also provides a place for recycling usable goods and purchasing merchandise at a fair price.
Volunteering also gives people a chance to share their expertise or develop new skills that 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
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:
- 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- Tidy up, check for outdated items and rotate stock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 Garden, 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
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of time commitment is required?
Good Cheer recognizes that everyone has different schedules and needs. Some volunteers commit to the same day and time every week or month, while others drop by when they have spare time and some 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. You can fill out a volunteer application here, or in person at the Food Bank or Thrift Stores. 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?
Each volunteer hour is valued at $20.85, which counts as matching funds when we seek financial support from foundations. For example, 30,757 volunteer hours in 2012 translated to $641,283.50 in in-kind donations to Good Cheer. Volunteer hours are recorded on the volunteer calendar provided at each site.
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.