Friday, April 23, 2010

Volunteers & Other Good Sorts

This is National Volunteer Week...


That's a big shout out to our volunteers who help make the Stirling Festival Theatre go 'round. In fact, it's a big shout out to all volunteers everywhere who make the entire world go 'round, especially in the cultural and NFP sector.

The Stirling Festival Theatre is a Not For Profit, registered charitable business, and we rely on our volunteers to do a myriad of small but vital things that help make our business run smoother, faster, more efficiently than if staff did everything. Well, frankly, staff couldn't do everything which is why we need our volunteers so much.

Just this week, under the direction of the tireless & wonderful Kim Whiteman, they took part in a 'sticker party'. This is the process by which our brochures are labeled, sorted (we sort to save money when mailing) and then posted off to far-flung corners of the world. Or, in the case of this batch of brochures, to Madoc & Marmora and environs. Five thousand brochures are even now wending their way through the postal system, with another 15,000 or so to follow next week. And it's done so fast, so well because of our volunteers.

Last week, when Mitch Seekins & the band was here for the
BUBLE to BOCELLI concert (which, if you missed it, too bad! It was fabulous!), we asked a few of our volunteers to do some baking for us - dessert for the lunch & dinner we provided the musicians. Well, you would have thought the guys - and Lori - had died & gone to heaven. They loved the fact that they were getting homemade goodies - not pre-packaged, over-processed, frozen sweets but... reall food! That creates such a great impression of SFT and Stirling, and that kind of positive, happy attitude gets spread around the performing community pretty quickly. All because of our volunteers!

And of course, the biggest single task we get out of volunteers is working front of house as ushers and other services during our performances. They are warm, friendly, helpful... a great welcome to the theatre for long-time patrons and new visitors alike. Again, essential work to be done, and I don't know how we'd do it without them!

One of the things that staff - particularly Kim & I - are working on through this year is creating a volunteer appreciation program. We have - and tsk, tsk on us - not been really good at remembering
show our volunteers how much they mean to us. Yes, we say thank you. And yes, I think they do know how much they bring to our organization. But sometimes... one just has to do something just a little more than say thanks, or assume people understand how valued they are. If you have an idea for a volunteer apprecation token of some kind, please let us know! If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with SFT, please let us know.

613.395.2100 and ask for Kim.


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