"Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in."
Interested in volunteering at the Hollywood Farmers Market this season? Come out to our annual Volunteer Orientation on Saturday, April 26th at 10am, at the Rose City Park Presbyterian Church at 1907 NE 45th Ave (meet at the office door on Sandy Blvd). We'll cover volunteer roles, changes to the 2014 season and other information about the market, and do a short "rehearsal" of the market setup and breakdown.
The Hollywood Farmers Market wouldn't be possible without the help of its volunteers. Every Saturday it takes 20 to 25 volunteers to keep the market running smoothly. A few early-riser volunteers show up at 7 am to set up the market's equipment (canopies, umbrellas, tables, chairs, signage) before customers begin arriving. During the market, volunteers answer customers' questions, pass out fliers about upcoming market events, allow vendors working solo to take breaks, do crowd counts, and anything else that comes up during the course of a busy market. Then, at the end of the market, they take all our equipment down and repack our storage space. Volunteers enable our market to function and they make it fun!
Farmers markets are inherently social places. According to a Project for Public Spaces study, a customer has an average of 15-20 social interactions at a farmers market, versus 1-2 at a grocery store. And for volunteers, that number is much higher. Even for the setup and breakdown volunteers, who mainly just interact with each other, the camaraderie and sense of shared purpose is strong.
On Saturday mornings, the mood at the information booth (which is the home base for market volunteers) is warm and inviting. New volunteers are welcomed heartily and quickly absorbed into the community, and returning volunteers are greeted as old friends. Some of the volunteers are people I've known for years, and every Saturday the market is something we share with each other and with the neighborhood.
If you're interested in learning more about volunteering but can't make it to the orientation, no worries; contact Ari Rosner at 503-803-7279 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can schedule you and orient you on market day!