For the next couple weeks I will be posting sections of chapter six of my book, A Day of Hope: Leading Volunteers to Make a Difference in Your Community. I wrote the book to teach people who to lead volunteers to do good work in your community.
This is section three and is a chance for you, my blog readers, to enjoy the book for free.
REGISTERING THE FAMILIES
Registering families is pretty simple.
You’ll just want to make sure you take down a few basic pieces of information such as their name, home address, phone number, and number of people living in their household. There really isn’t anything else that you need to collect from the families when they register. You need their address so you can create a map for the volunteers to use when delivering the basket of food and their phone number in case the volunteers can’t find the home or if you can’t provide food for some reason. The number of people in their household is important so you know how much food to pack.
In our community there are three ways people can register for a box of food with us. People can register with a local food bank, the church we partner with, or they can contact me directly. The local food bank is a good partner because they are able to hand pick the most needy families. The church we partner with, Enclave Community Church, is also allowed to register a certain amount of families. They usually register people from within their congregation or from the more than 100 people who get food from their weekly Grocery Assistance Program. Families who are in need of food can also register with me if they call me on my cell phone. This is my least favorite way to register families because it requires more time at a very busy time of year.
The amount of families I allow each of the places to register depends on the goal we set for A Day of Hope in the spring. A few months before Thanksgiving, I tell each place how many families they can register. If our fundraising and food gathering is going well, I might increase the amount of families we register.
It’s important to have all three places collect the same information. I have small registration cards, which the ladies at church created. This allows each place to collect the same information with the exception of a small code on the bottom of the card that tells me which of the three places the person registered.
When families register for the food, we tell them we will be there to deliver it between 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM, so they need to be home at those times. No matter how many times we tell families this, there are still about five percent of them who aren’t home. They aren’t home either because they forgot, because they thought they were supposed to pick up the food at the church, or they are no longer living there.