The New Volunteer Training VISTA will increase the agency’s capacity by improving current volunteer trainings and procedures thus increasing retention of volunteers. The New Volunteer Training VISTA will develop a curriculum to thoroughly orient and train new volunteers and will refine volunteer education and training in order to move volunteers from program participation to ownership. The VISTA member will expand and enhance the volunteer program through the evaluation and revising of existing policies and procedures. The VISTA will create a new volunteer training program that is consistent with new policies and procedures as well as follow-up trainings and evaluations to allow volunteers to provide feedback and retrain in areas where they need help. The VISTA member will develop a volunteer management system to track volunteer activities and hours of service. The system created will need to have measures in place that will maintain confidentiality and security of volunteer records.
Jennifer, a VISTA serving at Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center in Denton, TX has found the importance in maximizing potential for volunteers from every walk of life. Working closely with the volunteer coordinator at Twice as Nice Resale, (a branch of Woman to Woman PRC) Jennifer determined areas where she could improve the process for new volunteer intake and training. She decided to begin where it all starts: the initial contact the volunteer makes with someone at Twice as Nice Resale. Responding to all volunteer inquiries, including those from individuals who are looking to complete their community service hours, is imperative in ensuring that you are utilizing all of the help that is offered. In the month of August, Twice as Nice Resale received dozens of community service inquiries and Jennifer played a large part in the correspondence, keeping the individual’s information and status updated, and preparing them for their first day of service or volunteering. In order to be able to provide free medical services, education, and needed goods like diapers and formula to the Denton County area, Woman to Woman PRC relies heavily on their volunteers to help in all areas of the organization. Jennifer has also supported the organization’s efforts in a more efficient volunteer introduction process by facilitating new volunteers and community service members in their application, interview, and orientation. Maintaining accurate records daily using a spreadsheet to keep track of each person’s status as they move through the acclimation period has been an essential method in immersing them quicker, more efficiently, and more thoroughly. Jennifer plans to continue refining this process as she moves into evaluating how she can improve the overall training procedures so that Woman to Woman PRC can engage more community members as well as help even more people who are uninsured, economically disadvantaged, or facing a hard time in their lives.
Brianna Young is serving with Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center as the Volunteer Recruitment and Development VISTA. Twice as Nice Resale (TANR) hosted a group of 15 volunteers on August 25, 2017 from the Texas Academy of Math and Science at University of North Texas. The volunteers served 2 hours each to help organize, label, and clean the store. The staff and volunteers of TANR are very appreciative of the work they put in. While this event took place a TANR volunteer, who will soon become a leader of this setting, was shadowing the event so she will take over and continue organizing these events in the future providing students experience and helping the store altogether. Tending to the store aesthetics will help produce more revenue which funds Women to Women Pregnancy Resource Center’s clinic providing women with free testing, information, and resources to help reduce the stress of finances for upcoming families.
July was certainly a month of growth for Twice as Nice Resale, an entity of Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center (W2W) in Denton, Texas and VISTA Jennifer helped to lay the groundwork for expanding their volunteer program! Alongside her project’s fellow VISTA, Hannah McNeill, Jennifer worked to open up a new opportunity for Twice as Nice Resale’s volunteers to take more ownership and lead volunteer groups. Over the last couple of years, W2W has received an increased amount of interest from many organizations and church groups looking to serve at their resale store. With the number of volunteer groups growing, the need for assistance in coordinating, planning, and running the groups has also grown. Keeping in mind that the VISTA project will not be at W2W forever, Jennifer co-constructed a group lead “to do” checklist to help train five volunteers Hannah recruited for the leadership roles. To ensure that the volunteers received a comprehensive learning experience, Jennifer created mock “groups” and provided the necessary information for the volunteers to then work with each other to plan and coordinate for the group, just as they would eventually have to do when they are planning on their own. The next step in their training process includes them shadowing at least 3 volunteer groups where they watch and help the VISTAs run them and then ultimately leading their own groups. Jennifer hopes that this training will not only help the current volunteer leaders to train new leaders after the VISTA project, but also that the organization’s capacity to host more volunteer groups will surge. Jennifer predicts that being able to better spread the word about the organization will only benefit them in donations and sales, thus allowing W2W to provide their services to the community for free!
The month of July at Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center in Denton, TX was volunteer focused for Hannah McNeill serving as the Volunteer Recruitment and Resource Development VISTA. She managed 45 volunteers with a total of 222 service hours. These volunteers consisted of two groups that served at Twice As Nice Resale and a training that she and VISTA Jen led for 5 volunteers to prepare them to become group leads. As Hannah finishes out her VISTA term, she has begun implementing a new volunteer opportunity that allows volunteers to lead groups. This opportunity will not only help to build confidence in the volunteer group leaders but also provide the Twice As Nice Resale staff with volunteer group resources so that they may easily focus on other tasks. Throughout Hannah’s VISTA term, she has coordinated with fellow VISTA Jen and designed comprehensive documents for leading volunteer groups; including a group summary sheet (group point of contact info, assigned projects, group size/demographic), a volunteer group task list (separated into appropriate tasks for seniors, College/adults, high school/middle school, and elementary school), and a volunteer group lead checklist. These volunteer group documents will allow Woman to Woman to experience more growth through effective and efficient communication with volunteer groups and aid in the retention of the great people who serve with the agency.
June was an exciting month for AmeriCorps VISTA Jennifer, who was able to grow within her role of volunteer training at Twice as Nice Resale, an entity of Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center in Denton, TX. On June 24, Jennifer played a large role in the style show at Woman to Woman PRC’s annual Ladies’ Purse Auction, which also hosts a brunch, guest speaker, and an amazing silent auction. Working closely with 9 volunteers, Jennifer ensured they felt comfortable and confident in their roles by promoting proper training, communication, and clear instructions. The volunteers modeled head-to-toe outfits and their prices picked straight from Twice as Nice Resale to showcase how you can find cute clothes for a great price. In order to build capacity for Woman to Woman PRC as well as ensure success for the future VISTAS in her role, Jennifer documented every step of the process. This will allow the next VISTA or community volunteer acclimate to their role and make it easier for them to continue magnifying the prosperity of the organization through large events like this one. Indeed, the Ladies’ Purse Auction was a huge success with 193 women attending the event which raised $15,835, providing the highest numbers Woman to Woman PRC has seen yet! Jennifer loved seeing the team’s hard work flourish into such an amazing opportunity to provide Woman to Woman PRC with greater freedom to serve the Denton area’s low-income men, women, and families with free services.
VISTA Hannah McNeill, serving in Volunteer Recruitment and Development at Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center in Denton, TX, spent her month utilizing social media to market her agency’s Annual Ladies Purse Auction and Brunch. Hannah created a social media schedule posting once a week with a reminder and encouragement to register paired with the Purse Auction graphic to Woman to Woman and Twice As Nice Resale (TANR) Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The week of the event, Hannah used TANR’s and Woman to Woman’s already implemented daily posts to advertise for the event. W2W’s #FactualFriday post let everyone know that the purse auction was coming up and TANR’s #TuesdayTreasures was of a purse that was currently for sale in the store with information that there would be more at the Ladies Purse Auction. The day of the event, Hannah was in charge of social media and co-coordinating the Twice as Nice Resale style show. Hannah communicated thoroughly with the style show volunteer models as to where they would go and what they would need to expect that morning. Hannah documented the event with pictures and videos of auctioned purses, brunch, the guest speaker, and the TANR Style Show. Hannah’s efforts on social media garnered 273 likes across all social media platforms combined. This year’s event’s monetary donations are still coming in, but so far the 193 guests in attendance gifted Woman to Woman with over $15,835, the highest amount received from the Annual Purse Auction ever! Hannah’s efforts will assist in the ultimate goal to further build the TANR and Woman to Woman social media and customer/client base thus increasing the number of low-income women who will receive free health care services.
Jennifer Annen, the Volunteer Training VISTA serving with Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center in Denton, TX, has already gotten a kick-start in building capacity within the organization’s Twice as Nice Resale store. Woman to Woman and Twice as Nice Resale (TANR) have grown tremendously over the last couple of years and are continually striving to improve, but with great growth can also come growing pains. To help ease some of those growing pains, Jennifer has been tasked with strengthening the organization’s volunteer training program as well as increasing the retention of their current volunteers. She has begun creating departmental training guides which includes all the necessary knowledge for each individual area of the store and warehouse as well as a checklist for the trainer and trainee to complete. This ensures that our volunteers are receiving the attention they deserve during their training and TANR staff can feel confident knowing we covered all the essentials for our volunteers to be successful in their department. By implementing these station guides early on in her VISTA term, Jennifer hopes that they will be easy to follow and use beyond her next 11 months of service. To complement the new individual training process, TANR will hold a monthly two-hour training and review session for all staff and volunteers. To facilitate a meaningful learning opportunity and use of our volunteers’ time, Jennifer drafted a template to be used when planning each monthly session. She hopes that through using this template, staff will also be able to easily keep track of the progress and usefulness of these trainings over time as well as fill in any information gaps as needed. Jennifer looks forward to practicing these new training strategies to not only improve the experience for our staff and volunteers, but to continue aiding Woman to Woman as they serve their community!
VISTA Hannah McNeill has been utilizing social media to potentially recruit volunteers and provide further resources for Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center in Denton, TX. Throughout the past 9 months of her VISTA term, she has been posting daily to all Woman to Woman and Twice as Nice Resale social media platforms. The amount of people reached through the organization’s social media has skyrocketed substantially. This is easily seen from the Twice as Nice Facebook reach for August and September 2015 combined was 1,717 people. In March of 2017 alone, their Facebook page reached 12,167 people! As Hannah seeks to maximize the organization’s social media following, she also desires to provide Woman to Woman with viable ways to keep track of the social media success. One of the ways Hannah is doing this is by logging the social media statistics each month. With hopes to continue the growth in reach, Hannah organized a social media loop giveaway, collaborating with 5 local businesses. She facilitated each business donating their giveaway items as well as wrote a document with thorough wording and scheduling for the giveaway. This document was then given to each business with instructions to tag the other businesses in the post. Hannah’s hope in this giveaway is for strong relationships to be built with Woman to Woman and local businesses and for growth to be seen in followers for each business. These social media efforts are vital for Woman to Woman and Twice as Nice Resale to recruit volunteers and gain new resources. Her efforts paid off by recruiting 10 new volunteers to serve at the Twice as Nice Resale!
Resource Development VISTA Daisy Martinez has worked hard alongside Events & Marketing Coordinator, Morgan Collins to help grow their upcoming fundraising event, “Ladies Purse Auction & Brunch”. This fundraising event is one of the three largest fundraisers that Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center hosts each year. Daisy hopes to exceed their fundraising goal through engaging the local community, and spreading awareness of their mission. Each day, Daisy reaches out to businesses, and women in the Denton Community asking them to participate in the Purse Auction by “adopting” a purse of their choosing from a selection of donated purses located in the W2W office. After adopting the purse, the woman or business takes the purse to fill it with goodies of their choice. The purses are then returned to be auctioned off to the highest bidder at the Purse Auction & Brunch event on June 24th at Robson Ranch. All funds raised go directly towards providing services to the clients of the nonprofit.