Vintage Vignettes glimpse into the Communicationist’s past, one to ten years ago from this day.
On this day in 2009 I was leading a group of volunteers to a clinic to read to kids in the waiting room. This was for three organizations. By that I mean the activity was supporting the mission of the non-profit Reach Out and Read, it was facilitated by the volunteer organization Boston Cares, and it was hosted by the Mattapan Community Health Center. This kind of collaboration is what I love about the volunteerism world. Organizations coming together to find where their missions overlap and the synergy of their cooperation helping even more individuals and communities than they could on their own.
Boston Cares needs non-profits who need volunteers. Reach Out and Read is a non-profits that needs volunteers. Mattapan Community Health Center has kids who could benefit from volunteers reading to them. It seems like such an obvious fit but getting partnerships like this to happen isn’t always easy. Thankfully there are a lot of people out there who love to jump in and get involved.
My role was as a Boston Cares Project Leader. When volunteers signed up through Boston Cares for the waiting room reading project, I would be in contact with them about logistics and questions. I’d supervise them on-site so the health center staff didn’t need to take time away, and I’d follow-up with them afterwards to see how it went for them and if they’d like to do it again. When multiple organizations are involved, it’s important that the Volunteer Coordinator have a clear role. Mine was clearly defined as being from Boston Cares, not the other two organizations, and that helped in the organization of the process.
If you’re looking to volunteer, chances are your local city has an organization that can help you connect to the cause, timing, neighborhood, and role that you’re looking for. This Vintage Vignette focuses on Boston Cares, but there are others like Greater DC Cares. No matter where you are, websites like VolunteerMatch will have listings near you and allow you to search by the type of opportunity you want.