Volunteering FAQs

WHAT IS MY REQUIREMENT FOR VOLUNTEERING FOR THE FOREST HILLS CSA?

Each share (not each member of the share) must volunteer for a minimum of 6 hours or its equivalent, as detailed below. No more than 3 hours may be in a back-up position.

 

WHAT ARE THE JOBS AVAILABLE TO FULFILL MY VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENT?

Most members are expected to sign up for helping with distribution at the site on CSA pickup days. We have a limited number of jobs available for people who cannot work at the site. If you need to work off-site, you must notify us within a week after you sign up and must have your proposal submitted for approval within a week of the pre-season meeting. 

 

HOW DO I SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER AT THE SITE?

Forest Hills CSA uses SignUp.com (formerly known as VolunteerSpot), an online signup system, to schedule distribution and surplus delivery volunteers and backups. You will receive email with a link to SignUp.com to sign up on line. This link has been emailed already this season. Here is a video on how to sign up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUFby8xIKTI

 

IF I AM SPLITTING A SHARE, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR VOLUNTEERING?

For those who are splitting a share, all members who are involved in splitting the share are responsible for the share’s volunteering obligation. If a share partner does not fulfill volunteering responsibilities, another share partner can make up for this with extra volunteering; otherwise none of the share partners will be considered members in good standing. Each share is responsible for working those hours; for shares with multiple people, you are responsible for deciding amongst yourselves how the work will be divided.

 

IF THERE ARE TWO OR MORE SHARE MEMBERS WHO MAY BE VOLUNTEERING, WHO SHOULD SIGN UP ON SignUp.com?

Please make sure that the person listed on SignUp.com is the same person who will actually do the shift. There is a contact list created each Friday morning based on this information and it is used to contact volunteers when needed, both before and during the volunteer shift, so please include your cell phone number. There is a place on SignUp.com to enter the name of the primary shareholder to assure that proper credit is given when different people from the same share sign up for volunteering.

 

WHAT JOBS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE SITE THROUGH SignUp.com?

You may fulfill your volunteer requirement by any combination that adds up to at least 6 hours.

POSITION TIME CREDIT
Shift supervisor (only designated supervisors may sign up for this) 3:30pm – 8:30pm special
Early shift (experienced member) 3:30pm – 6:05pm 3 hours
Early shift (new member) 3:30pm – 6:05pm 3 hours
Early shift backup (2 positions) 3:30pm – 6:05pm 1.5 hours
Late shift (experienced member) 5:55pm – 8:30pm 3 hours
Late shift (new member) 5:55pm – 8:30pm 3 hours
Late shift backup (2 positions) 5:55pm – 8:30pm 1.5 hours
Surplus delivery 8:00 pm until delivered 1.5 hours
Surplus delivery backup 8:00 pm until delivered .75 hours
Truck Unloading 2 pm – 3 pm? 1 hour

 

Backups must be on call for the entire time of the shift, be able to be reached promptly, and be at the site within 15 minutes to take over in the event that a volunteer has an emergency. When we know in advance that a backup is needed, you will be notified as soon as possible. 

More details are provided in the Volunteer Checklist which is attached to the first email reminder, and is in this document on pages 12-13. Please print it and bring it when you volunteer.

Surplus delivery volunteers package and deliver leftover shares to a non-profit organization and send a surplus delivery receipt to the surplus delivery coordinator. A copy of the receipt, as well as a list of organizations, will be attached to the first email reminder. Please see pages 14-15 of this document for more on surplus delivery.

 

WILL I GET SOME KIND OF REMINDER BEFORE MY SHIFT?

Each volunteer will receive an email on the Friday (or occasionally Saturday) before the shift with a contact list for the shift supervisor and all other volunteers for the day.

Please Print out this contact list.

Additionally, each volunteer will receive an automatically generated email reminder from SignUp.com on the Sunday morning before the shift.

After the shift (usually Wednesday), each volunteer will receive an email with a link to the after-shift survey (more details below).

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO AT THE DISTRIBUTION SITE?

For specific duties, please refer to these guidelines, which are kept in a document protector in the paperwork box at distribution.

 

CAN I SEND MY FAMILY MEMBER/SHARE PARTNER TO VOLUNTEER FOR ME?

If you have signed up as an experienced volunteer and your substitute is not experienced, they may not volunteer for you as we need an experienced volunteer at each shift. If you signed up as a new member, it is not a problem, as long as you change the volunteer name and contact info on SignUp.com. If it is less than one week before the shift also call Melissa, the assistant coordinator. If it is the same day, call Melissa and the shift supervisor.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF I CANNOT MAKE A SHIFT FOR WHICH I HAVE SIGNED UP?

If it is 2 weeks or more before your shift:

 

If it is 2 weeks or less before your shift:

 

If it is less than 1 week before your shift:

  • All of the above AND
  • Call the assistant coordinator (Melissa Degenhardt: cell 917-538-5552, home 718-846-2829) to make sure that the email has been received. 

 

If it is on the same afternoon as the shift:

  • Call the assistant coordinator AND
  • Email the volunteer coordinator and assistant coordinator
  • Call a backup (from your contact list) AND
  • Call your shift supervisor. 

Note: If you are called as a backup on the day of the shift and at that time you tell us that you are not available or if you cannot be reached, you will not receive credit for volunteering and will no longer be a member in good standing. By that time you will have already received two email reminders for your shift. 

 

IF I AM A BACKUP AND GET CALLED TO DO A SHIFT, DO I GET CREDIT FOR 3 HOURS?

If you are a backup, you will get credit for 1.5 hours even if you are called. When you sign up as a backup you are taking a chance that you might be called in every time (unlikely) or that you might not get called at all. If you want 3 hours credit for a shift, sign up for the shift rather than as a backup. 

 

MAY I SIGN UP FOR A SHIFT AND HAVE A FAMILY MEMBER SIGN UP AS THE BACKUP FOR THE SAME SHIFT?

Family members may not sign up for shifts at the same time since a family emergency might cause the shift to go unfilled. However, if you are splitting a share with someone who is not part of your family and does not reside with you, it would be permissible. If you have an emergency or need to make a change, you may have a family member take over your shift, but please let your shift supervisor and the volunteer coordinators know about the change. If you make the change before Friday morning, you may just change it on SignUp.com. 

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE PARTNER WORKING AT THE SITE WITH ME DOES NOT SHOW UP ON TIME?

You should first try calling your partner and then, if necessary, call a backup. You should also notify your shift supervisor and the volunteer coordinator and assistant. 

 

WHAT VOLUNTEER POSITIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE UNABLE TO WORK AT THE SITE?

We have a limited availability of jobs for people who cannot work at the site. If you need to work off site, you must have your proposal approved by the volunteer coordinator who is supervising non-distribution volunteers.

    • Some of the possibilities are:
    • Working on the CSA website
    • Blogging for the CSA
    • Posting recipes on the CSA website
    • Arranging a special event such as a farm visit, cooking demonstration or contest

 

ALL OF THE JOBS ON SITE THAT WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE HAVE ALREADY BEEN TAKEN AND I CAN’T FIND ENOUGH FOR MY 6 HOURS. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Please contact the volunteer coordinator and assistant as soon as you know you cannot fulfill your hours and note what days and shifts will or will not work for you. We may be able to switch a shift with another member. 

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT SHOW UP FOR A SHIFT?

Failing to show up for a shift without giving proper notification (unless there is a severe emergency) or failing to inform us that you will not be available as a backup until you have been called is a breach of your volunteer requirement and may cause you to lose your eligibility for future CSA membership. 

 

ARE THERE ANY EXCEPTIONS TO THESE DETAILED RULES?

On occasion, when we have members who are really proactive in trying to meet their requirements and we are unable to find shifts, we will make exceptions or allow them to make up for missed shifts in a future year. 

 

WHOM SHOULD I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?

FHCSAvolunteers@foresthillscsa.com is the main contact address regarding volunteering. You will receive email before the season starts with names, jobs and contact information for all of the members of the current volunteer team.

info@foresthillscsa.com is the contact address for questions that are not related to volunteer jobs or scheduling. 

 

The FHCSA is run completely by volunteers. There are a handful of members who give up much more than the minimum number of hours to make the CSA what it is. These guidelines were designed to explain all of the expectations of CSA members and answer common questions. Please help us to do our jobs by doing yours.

Thank you!