Face to Face is Always Better

by Mike Touzeau, Staff Writer

I’d like to volunteer, but I wish I had the chance to ask some questions first.

Most people feel that way. You don’t want to make decisions without getting some facts and having time to weigh them. If you’re like me, you probably don’t buy anything over a hundred bucks without asking some questions first, and if you’re like most people you would like to talk to someone face to face, someone whose sincerity you can evaluate while you’re listening to them, someone who isn’t trying to pressure you into something. You want the real story, not a sales job. I get tons of solicitation calls from strangers almost every day and they’re impersonal and pushy.

GVSVC’s annual GVSVC Volunteer Showcase, 10 to noon, January 24, at GVR West Center will have many of their partners in attendance so you can see them in person all in one place. It’s your chance to approach an agency in a give and take way to try to find out if they might be a good fit for you. Ask as many questions as you like. In fact, they love questions. They want their volunteers to be a good fit for them, too, so they will probably ask you some questions as well, maybe about your interests, what you’re looking for, what would be an enjoyable experience for you.

It’s much easier to compare and organize your thoughts when you have several options right in front of you in one room. Each station will be manned by a volunteer coordinator and/or volunteers who will give you a clear picture of what their non-profit does and how you can help out if you think it’s something you might be interested in, either right away or for future reference when you are ready.

The Showcase is free, and it’s for you if you have been thinking maybe it’s time to take a look at how I can give back to this community in which I am so blessed to live every day, or I think I’d like to put in a few hours where I can learn something new, use some of my skills, enhance my interests, keep active.

Most organizations will likely have brochures you can take home that explain in detail what volunteers do for them and how much you are appreciated, how you can meet new people and make friends, what kind of impact the duties you perform have on the people your organization serves, or the community at large. You’ll get information on how you can take the next step forward with them if you want. Each group handles that a little differently.

Come at the beginning if it’s convenient, as you will want to gather all the information you can about perhaps three or four of your favorites, and then have the time to go back to ask some more specific questions so you can narrow it down to a couple of choices.

The GVSVC will be there to inform you about any of their approximately 100 partners, especially those who weren’t able to make it this time. They can show you how you can take a tour or set up a conference with them to discuss volunteer opportunities.

The 2018 GVSVC Volunteer Showcase is a nice, relaxed format for you to ask all the questions you want and get all the information you need. Accepting a volunteer position is an important decision just like any other that calls for careful and serious thought. It can change your life and the lives of others.

This is your chance to ask—face to face.