The eighth week at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio brought about a change in my energy and excitement for the Volunteer Stewardship Plan. This week marks a time when I can see everything finally coming together. By drafting up this plan, improving the processes in the house that it touches and creating materials to support the volunteers, I have learned amount about volunteer management and myself.
Speaking of volunteering, the Tuesday and Thursday of this week had me working at the 31 Gifts Conference that happened at the Convention Center in downtown Columbus. On Tuesday, I helped out by stuffing bags with bubble wrap and than used those bags as center pieces for the tables at the Director’s Day Event. Over 3,500 thirty-one directors attended this and over 14,000 thirty-one consultants arrived the next day for the full conference. The great thing about stuffing these bags was that they were the new 31 branded RMHC bags. Ronald McDonald House has a partnership with 31 Gifts in which the company donates a certain amount of RMHC branded bags each year. These bags are then given to families as they check in to Columbus’ home-away-from-home. On Thursday, fellow Intern Jillian and I worked the late shift at the 31 Gift Store. We worked at the Ronald McDonald House station,
telling consultants about ways that they could get involved with their local house and letting them preview the new RMHC drawstring bag that they can sell. I was floored by the amount of people that came through our station on Thursday. There were women and men from around the country stopping by our station and checking out the new bag. It was really great hearing some of these people’s experiences with a local RMHC. Numerous people came up to tell us about a fundraiser that they had done or want to do for their local house. It was inspiring to see these consultants so excited about supporting their local Ronald McDonald house!!
In this week alone, I created a brand new volunteer resource binder that will sit at the front desk of RMHC. The sole purpose of this binder is to act as a resource for volunteers if they have a question about practically anything! As you can probably imagine, the binder is rather extensive and covers quite a large amount of information. So my challenge was to make it informative but also exciting and fun. One of the ways that I did this was by creating a little social media/marketing section that features selfie pictures from the RMHC staff. Hopefully, this will encourage the volunteers to snap a selfie of themselves volunteering in the house and post it on social media.
The reason I created this resource binder was because the Volunteer Communication Binder that exists now is un-organized and it doesn’t act as a resource. The new Volunteer Resource Binder now communicates changes and helps to educate volunteers. The intent for this education is so that RMHC has volunteers that know about everything that we do. This will help them answer questions at the front desk and will hopefully encourage them to get involved with the house in a number of different ways. From volunteering in another capacity or making a gift, the education of volunteers is an important touchpoint in the Volunteer Stewardship Binder.
One key point of this week was a meeting that I had with Dee Anders, the Executive Director of RMHC. In this meeting, we reviewed a draft copy of the Volunteer Stewardship Plan that I created last week. This was the very first time that I was able to sit down with Dee and talk about what I have been doing during my fellowship. I was slightly nervous but also super excited to share my findings with her. I had a great conversation with Dee about what works for the house and other additional things that she would like to include. Overall, I feel that I can push through and create a final version of the Volunteer Stewardship Plan within the next week.