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.
This month was one of thankfulness and festivity as volunteers were appreciated at Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center in Denton, TX. Volunteer Recruitment and Development VISTA Hannah played an integral role in developing the ways that Woman to Woman encourages and honors their volunteers. Hannah used social media to shed light on how thankful Woman to Woman is for their faithful volunteers. She did this by making one Volunteer Spotlight post each day. Hannah interviewed the volunteers and posted a little about them. Her goal in this was not only to honor each highlighted volunteer but also help people outside of the organization to better understand the joy, community, and integrity within Woman to Woman and encourage them to choose to volunteer with the non-profit. The organization hosted theme days with a candy or food item each day to give away to the volunteers to show appreciation. Hannah assisted Woman to Woman’s Volunteer Coordinator in assembling the needed decorations for the week. They set up a “Compliment Corner” to provide everyone with the opportunity to encourage others and create a more life-affirming atmosphere. Hannah anticipates that the volunteer environment at Woman to Woman will grow more and more like family and that this will draw in potential volunteers for the organization.
AmeriCorps VISTA Sarah Crain has made a tangible impact on Woman to Woman as their Logistic Specialist. While with Woman to Woman, Sarah has authored 5 different manuals that help improve efficiency and continuity within Twice as Nice Resale. These manuals range from how to react during a fire to how to efficiently sort donated items at the warehouse door. Sarah wanted to ensure Twice as Nice was operating at its fullest potential to increase sales for the store that would in turn increase financial support Woman to Woman. Throughout her service year, Sarah has ensured that Staff and Volunteer voice’s were heard in every policy she created. Often times Sarah would shadow volunteers to discover best practices for each department in order to efficiently write policy. Staff are now equipped to author and edit policy themselves to always ensure their organization grows. Sarah has been able to make an impact in the Denton community by building logistical capacity for Woman to Woman!
This February, VISTA Hannah McNeill serving with Woman to Woman PRC, co-facilitated a Best of Denton campaign for Twice as Nice Resale. Best of Denton is Denton’s annual community acknowledgement of their town’s outstanding restaurants, coffee shops, stores, etc. Hannah assisted in composing graphics to use for advertising on social media and providing Twice as Nice with quality content to market their resale store for the event. Hannah’s hope is that through promoting Twice as Nice Resale in Best of Denton, the store will experience an improved presence in the community. Higher revenue, increased customers, and new volunteers will contribute to the Woman to Woman clinic in supporting women, children, and families in the Denton community. Throughout the month, businesses have been in a frenzy in the pursuit of the #1 spot. Now, the dust has settled. The ballots have been cast. Stay tuned to hear what’s next for Twice as Nice Resale.
During the month of February, Adam Jones, a Volunteer Training VISTA at Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center, was recruited to amass a wealth of information on the topic of volunteer management. The information gathered was used in a lecture hosted by Funding Information Network. With the track record of over 183 volunteers trained and managed and 424 hours of service contributed to Woman to Woman over a span of 10 months, it would be safe to say that he has a few things to share about volunteer management. This lecture not only helps Woman to Woman to establish a presence in the community, but it also offers opportunities to network with other non-profits in the area. Adam also created two volunteer leadership positions to be used with the hopes that volunteers will play a more prominent role in the management of the sales floor and warehouse. These positions allow staff to resume the administrative aspect of the organization, which will allow staff to seek out other creative means to make a presence in the community.
Many new volunteers are quite nervous on their first day and wonder a lot about their new organization they are volunteering for. Topics like “what is the dress code?”, “where do I park?”, “what time is my shift?”, and “who do I contact if I cannot make it?” are examples of questions that bounce around in a new volunteer’s mind. VISTA Sarah Crain sought to find a solution that would help give information to these new volunteers in a concise and effective manner. From previous volunteer experience, Sarah was able to author a New Volunteer Information Packet that included answers to all of the above questions. She also added in a letter from the Director of Woman to Woman to engage volunteers and ensure they knew their time was extremely valuable. This welcome packet will be given to every new volunteer that starts with Woman to Woman by the Volunteer Coordinator. Come to a volunteer information meeting for Woman to Woman and you can see Sarah’s work!
What an eventful month for VISTA Hannah McNeill serving at Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center in Denton! Hannah assisted Twice as Nice Resale (TANR) at the 2nd annual Denton Bridal Show. Hannah managed 11 volunteers modeling for the Denton bridal show. Her duties included contacting all volunteers and creating the schedule for model volunteer fittings, the organization of volunteer dresses to be used and transported to the show, as well as creating the spreadsheets used by the bridal show coordinator the day of the event. Hannah assisted the volunteer coordinator in booth preparations for the event and assisted in outreach for the organization at the booth during the event where over 300 brides were present. Hannah completed all of this while also planning and scheduling social media posts to go out before the event and the day of to market TANR with hopes of building capacity through growth in volunteers and customers. Later on in the month, the organization also participated in the National holiday of Sanctity of Human Life. The goal of this event is create awareness of our services in the community as well as recruit volunteers through 9 different table set ups with local participating organizations. Hannah assisted the event coordinator in creating materials that would draw new volunteers and organized the suitcases containing materials for the booths, such as brochures, business cards, and other necessary items. Each suitcase was picked up by an existing volunteer who manned the table in the community. By preparing these materials for outreach, the volunteers were able to more easily share with others about Woman to Woman, and we received over 20 volunteer interest cards. It was a great start to the year!
In the month of new beginnings and fresh starts, VISTA Adam Jones was determined to start this year on the right foot. With the implementation of the new pricing guide for the store, clarity and reassurance would be needed in large sums. Adam informed the volunteers of Twice As Nice Resale of the changes and instructed them to fill out suggestion forms to highlight anything staff may have missed. Anticipating a high volume of suggestion forms to be sorted through, Adam created a document to track these forms. With the intention to eliminate the cumbersome process of sorting the forms by hand, staff can now refer to this document to help address any problems in the future. This newly created document can be built upon, and will bring clarity to staff and volunteers alike. Adam also provided supervision and training to 36 volunteers who contributed up to 64 hours of service to the organization through attending the cashier’s refresher training and completing projects within Twice As Nice Resale. Adam intends to further build capacity by continuing to develop a training system that is user-friendly and sustainable within Twice As Nice Resale.