October 2012 
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I hope this newsletter reaches you in warmth and safety after these tumultuous days of Hurricane Sandy. Those who weren't affected directly were surely glued to the news for at least some portion of this last week, concerned for the safety of friends and family - or just for the well-being of humanity in general.  

Prior to the storm, my husband and I were in Missouri for a wedding, planning to come back home to Baltimore Monday afternoon. Clearly, that did not happen. Thankfully, we not only had the option of a discounted hotel stay (my husband works for Marriott), but another option - which we ultimately chose:  staying with close friends who live outside St. Louis. While we toured the city waiting for flights to resume to the east coast, our only real worry was whether we'd lose the contents of our chest freezer back home.

So much of the work that you do every day is focused on helping those with fewer options than you and I. You help those who may not have savings to put toward a couple extra nights of hotel rooms, or a support system of friends and family with a spare bedroom. You help those who aren't worried about losing their food supply in a storm because they are unable to afford extra food for their freezer or pantry.

I'll close with a question that comes up every time we face a natural disaster of this scope:  Once the clean up is over, how might you re-focus the concern and attention your community currently has for the victims of Hurricane Sandy into an ongoing support for the less fortunate? Perhaps by volunteering with your agency? jennie gates beckmanPlease post your response on the volunteer forum to share with your colleagues.

P.S. Last m
onth's winner for posting on the forums was Tara Booker, of JFCS of Sarasota-Manatee. Tara - email me to claim your prize!
AJFCA Manager of Civic Engagement & Repair the World Programming
Data Will Always Give You the Wrong Answer (When You Ask the Wrong Question)
Tony Goodrow presented on this topNTENic recently at a meeting of the Volunteer Development Council at the National Human Services Assembly. His model stands traditional reporting of volunteer hours on its head by encouraging us to evaluate whether we are using our volunteer time wisely rather than simply trying to rack up as many hours as we can. If you are interested in learning more about this model than what is shared in the article - please be in touch with me, as I have detailed notes from his presentation.  
Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards Expand Nationallydiller teen
International Volunteer Managers Day
November 5th is International Volunteer Managers Day. Universally, people recognize the contribution of volunteers - however, volunteering does not succeed in a vacuum. Behind this world's army of volunteers lies an equally dedicated group of individuals who are responsible for the coordination, support, training, administration and recruitment of volunteers - skilled professionals who are adept at taking singular passion and turning it into effective action. That is why we celebrate International Volunteer Managers Day every year on November 5th.
international volunteer day
We urge you to mark your calendar and, whether you are an administrator, a volunteer, a community leader or someone who receives the benefit of volunteer help, to make sure the people who act as leaders and catalysts get the recognition they deserve!
Teens and Volunteeringdo something
This article highlights a new study  from DoSomething.org on young people ages 13-22. One of their recommendations is to offer tasks that can be completed quickly. "Teens often decide to go last minute, avoid showing up early and almost never stay til the end," the researchers write. "Being first or last isn't cool." How do you feel about this suggestion? Is that type of attitude towards time acceptable in your agency? 
Are you on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is rapidly becoming a key place to find resources and connections in the field.  Check out these message boards to connect with your fellow volunteer managers:

Aware of others? Share with us all on the forums! 
How to Turn Event Helpers into Long-Term Volunteersvolunteer match
This VolunteerMatch article talks about keeping your event volunteers informed on and close to your agency - but I would argue that these are all general volunteer engagement tactics you could utilize any other time as well. 

This month we're featuring the volunteer newsletter put together by Deb Savittjfcs minneapolis of Jewish Family and Children's Service of Minneapolis. Below are her opening words, and you can click thru above to read the entire newsletter.  I love how she uses the newsletter to inform, thank and even solicit her volunteers.  Great work, Deb!

ThisDeb Savitt is my favorite time of year for nesting; snuggling with my dog, reading a good book and baking all my favorite sweets. I know that I am extremely fortunate to be able to enjoy all that the season has to offer from the coziness of my home without struggle.
As fall stretches on, our awareness of the basic needs of our community becomes heightened. JFCS is committed to making sure those needs are addressed. Through a variety of programs, more than 900 volunteers support our community's needs by driving clients to and from their critical appointments, offering check-in phone calls, and providing friendly visits to those who are isolated. They also plan holiday celebrations for those who may not otherwise celebrate, give holiday gifts to those who might go without, and raise the much-needed funds to support all of our programming.
As our thoughts turn to nesting, please remember those in need of support. Read on for more ways you can help this season.  
Volunteer Resources Program Manager
Jewish Family & Children's Service of Minneapolis 
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  1. Repair partnered with JCSA and featured AJFCA's own Lee Sherman on their recent conference call, "Unlocking the Values of Jewish Service-Learning". If you missed the live call, you can still listen to the recording by using this link. Please note that you may need to download software to be able to listen to the call.
  2. Repair has compiled a comprehensive list of ways you can help in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. If you receive the Repair the World newsletter, you should already have this information. If not - you might want to sign up.
  3. Repair has developed a toolkit designed to help Jewish organizations and families create meaningful volunteer projects that parents and children can do together to engage in the critical work of tikkun olam, repairing our communities and larger world. They are interested in piloting this toolkit with a select number of agencies. If you think your agency would be a good fit for piloting this toolkit, please email me before noon on Wednesday, November 7th.
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