We are excited you have chosen to volunteer with GIVE 365 in support of the Ann Arbor Park System!
Whether you are part of a group, or an individual who signed up to volunteer with us, the following should help you prepare for your service experience. For many of our service days, we will have been in communication with a group organizer to determine the general work day project and location. As the volunteer day approaches, you may be interested in additional details.
Service Day Specifics
Event/work day details will be sent via email 3-5 days in advance. This serves as a reminder and confirmation of your participation. The email will confirm the park location/address, meeting spot, work day specifics, weather considerations, and the GIVE staff name leading the event with contact info.
- Let us know if there are any accessibility requests or needs.
- GIVE 365 will provide all the work day materials or equipment needed.
- Volunteer responsibilities:
- Bring a water bottle.
- Dress in appropriate clothing for weather and project. We will communicate any specifics beforehand. If you have a GIVE365 tshirt already, show off your swag!
- Review the GIVE 365 Volunteer Waiver.pdf. You will sign off on the waiver at check in. If under 18, you must print and have a parent/guardian sign and bring to the event.
Arriving to the work day
- Plan to arrive 5 minutes early and consider travel time and potential traffic congestion; parking; walking distance; and your own familiarity with the park.
- Look for the “Volunteer Check In" sandwich board sign and keep your eye out for our friendly staff who will be wearing GIVE 365 apparel with a visible logo.
- Check in process entails writing your name and arrival time down on the sign in sheet. If over 18, sign that you agree to the waiver. Under 18, bring a signed waiver.
- We value your time and are committed to starting on time. We begin with a short welcome and icebreaker before diving into the project instructions.
Work Day Culture
- Our commitment to you is to be prepared and clear in our project goals and related instructions.
- We ask our volunteers to be engaged, willing and present.
- We believe we can have fun and get things done! We bring a portable stereo. You are welcome to bring a playlist for your group.
- Volunteers have creative freedom to incorporate individual skills and the unique perspective each volunteer brings in order to reach our goals. In other words, we provide a framework and a goal for each project and then are open to how that is achieved. Suggestions, modifications and new ways of doing things are always welcomed!
- We are project based meaning we work to achieve the goal but will honor our time commitment. So if we finish early, we wrap up and if we don't get everything finished, we will still wrap up on time.
- At about 10 minutes before we wrap up, we will bring the group together and transition to our closing. GIVE staff will lead the collection of tools and materials, gather the group for a photo, and depending on the project, end with a closing activity.
- Early departure--If you need to depart before the end, please let the staff know and sign yourself out in the binder, noting the time you left.
- If you need hours verified or a paper signed by our staff, let staff know at the conclusion of the event. You can also request a formal verification letter to be emailed to you.
Despite the best laid out plans and a date that has been scheduled months in advance… the one detail none of us can control, is the weather! Most of our volunteer projects occur outside so we are basically meteorologists over here 😉, and are always keeping our eye on the forecast. Weather conditions can change, delay, or cancel your service day plans. Rain, snow, high winds, or extreme temperatures do need to be considered as to how the weather might impact the success of the project, volunteer turnout, and the overall experience.
We know for sure, unpleasant weather can make for a miserable volunteer experience. However, we have also seen groups carry on and get things done in less than ideal weather. As a general rule, we will follow the lead of the volunteers and your group. If you are willing to work in the rain/cold/snow, we won't be the ones to back out. With three exceptions:
- Safety concerns. A forecast that includes thunder/lightening; high wind warnings; dangerously cold/hot temperatures—are unsafe conditions in which we will call off the work day and look to reschedule with you.
- River conditions for clean up paddles. High water levels on the Huron River are weather conditions monitored by the canoe liveries and affect conditions and water flow speeds that can impact our ability to safely be on boats for our river clear up events. In general, this call is made by the livery staff and is based on current speeds. This is called the morning of and more frequent in the spring.
- Project impact. There are times when the weather may impact what we were planning to do (painting for example) or our ability to prep for the event and get materials dropped off due to weather. We will be communicating with you if this is a concern for your workday.
We love taking pictures that showcase the things our volunteers do. We will always take before and after photos of our projects, take a closing group photo and are always looking to capture action shots. We share our photos internally in our weekly staff meetings and summary reports. We also will share photos in promotional materials and post on social media. We respect your right to not want to be photographed or shared publicly so please let us know any photo restrictions.
Volunteers are also welcome to take photos. We would love it if you shared your highlights with us! In some cases, volunteers are taking photos on behalf of GIVE to capture highlights of our special events. The photo standard that applies to our staff and volunteers alike:
- Be thoughtful about what is appropriate.
- Not okay to take and post photos of children without parental consent.
- If I was the person in the photograph, would I like my picture to be shared across the internet with total strangers? Do I have their permission?
- Reflect on… who will see this and what am I trying to accomplish with this photo? What unintended impact could this have? Is this a flattering photo of everyone in the photo?
- Don't forget to tag GIVE365 or our website. We love for your post to mention us and/or Parks!