April 17, 2015

NTEN and National Volunteer Week

This week is National Volunteer Week! Points of Light, the organization that established this program in 1974, notes, “National Volunteer Week is about taking action and encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change – discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to make a difference.”

Inspired by National Volunteer Week, NTEN took a few hours of work time to volunteer in our local communities.

Down in NTEN South (AKA San Francisco, CA), Membership Director, Megan Keane, joined a group of One Brick volunteers to clean up after San Francisco Friends of the Library‘s Spring Book Sale. Megan and the One Brick crew packed armloads of the remaining books from sale tables into large storage bins (and got quite the upper body workout while they were at it). The sale raised over $200,000 for San Francisco libraries, and the leftover boxes of books made a new home at a local thrift shop in a rural area of Eugene, Oregon, that has limited access to library and book services.

Megan at One Brick

Speaking of books: Operations Director, Jessica Holliday, led her regular Tuesday Literary Circle at Mt. Tabor Middle School. The kids wrapped up reading The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. They thought it was the best book they’d read this year.

Jessica, not at Lit Circle

In lieu of posting a pic of kiddos without their parental consent, here’s Jessica riding the mechanical bulldog at 15NTC.

IT Director, Karl Hedstrom, spent Tuesday morning helping sort food and stock shelves at the University Food Bank in Seattle, WA. It was a nice break from his normal tech duties, and a good reminder that there are still some tasks that only hard work and a lot of hands can accomplish. He also learned about the pitfalls of putting too many ripe bananas in a box (i.e., the squashed ones at the bottom get really gross).

Karl and bananas

Portland HQ staff spent an afternoon at the Oregon Food Bank. (Fun fact: One of the participants from NTEN’s Oregon Nonprofit Tech Readiness Program is staffed there. Read: The Impact of the Oregon Nonprofit Technology Readiness Program: Taylor Smith.)

Development Manager, Eileigh Doineau; Conference & Events Manager, Andrea Post; Education Director, Ash Shepherd; Content Manager, Steph Routh; CEO, Amy Sample Ward; and Community Program Coordinator, Bethany Lister (that’s me!) all packaged potatoes and onions for emergency food boxes. Program Coordinator, James Sigala, volunteered to operate the pallet jack and hauled away the finished bags by the ton.

James in charge

We had a blast and even posted a few #OFBhelpie pics after learning about OFB’s excellent campaign of involving volunteers in social media from Liza Dyer’s 15NTC Ignite presentation. (We love learning from the nptech community!)

Where was Marketing & Publications Director Joleen Ong during National Volunteer Week, you ask? Joleen is on a much-deserved vacation in the Galapagos where she is definitely not touching tortoises.

Joleen not touching tortoises

What did you do to celebrate National Volunteer Week?

Bethany Lister
Tags: NTEN, NTEN staff