Winter 17-18 Volunteering FAQS

Distribution Dates

  1. December 12
  2. January 9
  3. February 6
  4. March 6
  5. April 17 – LWF ONLY (no truck unloading or surplus)
  6. May 15 – LWF ONLY (no truck unloading or surplus)

 

IMPORTANT – NEW! All members must read about the following changes:

This winter, we will rely heavily on SignUp.com features to streamline the volunteering process and decrease administrative work.

Swapping Shifts:  Members are now responsible for swapping shifts and finding their own replacements if they can’t make their scheduled shift, up to 24 hours before the shift. Check out this video tutorial: How to Swap Spots.

 

Back-ups: Back-up are for true last minute emergencies only, or emergencies that occur in the middle of shifts (they happen rarely, but they have happened). That means, if you are back-up, you must be ready to come volunteer at any time during the shift, and should be able to be at distribution within 15 minutes. If you live far away in Queens (or farther) you may not be a back-up. If you work farther than 15 minutes away, you must come home during your back-up shift.

If it is less than 24 hours before your shift and an emergency prohibits you (or your share partner) from making it, call or text Anna at (917) 715-1865. Please do NOT email about anything that needs to be responded to immediately (or on the same day).

Please be respectful of the administrative team’s time and take your volunteering commitment seriously.

 

Volunteering Requirements
The CSA only works when all our members meet their volunteer commitments. This winter, each member is required to complete 1 credit of volunteering.

 

Volunteering jobs and credits for each job are:

  • distribution shift: 1 credit
  • back-ups for distribution shifts: ½ credit
  • truck unloading shifts: ½ credit
  • surplus deliveries: ½ credit
  • surplus delivery back-up: ¼ credit

 

Volunteering times:

  • early distribution shifts: 3:00- 5:50
  • late distribution shifts: 5:40-8:30
  • back-ups for distribution shifts: Need to be on call throughout the shift and be able to be at distribution within 15 minutes, if called in the middle of the shift.
  • surplus deliveries: come to distribution at 8pm, help back up bags for surplus, and drive surplus in your car to a charity (a list will be given to you).
  • surplus delivery back-up: needs to be on call until 9:00.
  • truck unloading shifts: 3:00- 4:00 or so

 

Early distribution and truck unloading shift changes:

The truck will be arriving at 3pm this winter, so we have overlapped truck unloading with first shift volunteering (the way it used to be, years ago). Javier, the church custodian, still asks that first shift volunteers or truck unloaders bring the tables and chairs from the storage room to the breezeway as he is very busy at that time of day. Golden Earthworm has two hand-trucks for our volunteers to transfer boxes, so there is only brief lifting involved in truck unloading. Truck unloaders and first shift volunteers need to work together from 3 to 4pm to expedite the unloading of the truck, giving the driver the previous distribution’s boxes and crates, and setting up for distribution. How you divide that work is between the four of you.

 

Here are some helpful links on how to sign up for and manage your personal volunteering schedule through SignUp.com:

There are lots of videos here.

There are two below that it is recommended you view:

 

Commonly asked questions:

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.

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. 

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 the Member Guidelines 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.

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO AT THE DISTRIBUTION SITE?

For specific duties, please refer to the Member 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. 

 

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

If it is more than 24 hours before your shift:

If it is less than 24 hours before your shift:

  • Call a backup (from your contact list) AND
  • Call or text your shift supervisor. 

Note: If you are scheduled to be a backup, but realize before your shift that you can not be available nearby during your backup shift, it is imperative that you swap your shift as soon as possible! If you called in as a backup on the day of the shift and at that time you first 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 allowed to rejoin the FHCSA in future seasons. Being a backup needs to be taken seriously. We probably will not need you, but if we need you, we will need you on short notice. Not being available and gambling that you won’t be called in will not be tolerated!! 

 

IF I AM A BACKUP AND GET CALLED TO DO A SHIFT, DO I GET FULL CREDIT?

If you are a backup, you will get half the credit for that job, 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 were to get full credit, how would we fill your remaining hours? 

 

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.

 

ALL OF THE JOBS ON SITE THAT WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE HAVE ALREADY BEEN TAKEN AND I CAN’T FIND ENOUGH FOR MY 1 CREDIT. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Please use the SWAP feature. See Accessing & Changing Spots

 

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 an extreme 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 will cause you to lose your eligibility for future CSA membership. 

 

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT TO DO DURING MY SHIFT?

All that you need to know should be in the Member Guidelines which you will be emailed before your shift. There is also a paper copy in the paperwork box

 

WHAT DO I DO IF THERE IS A PROBLEM DURING MY SHIFT?

Please call your shift supervisor. If you can’t reach your shift supervisor, call Marina at (917) 748-3186.

If the problem needs to be taken care of during your shift, please do not email info. That account is checked frequently, but not immediately. Also, please don’t leave a paper note for the core group in the paperwork box. If there is a less pressing need that just needs to be taken care of before the next distribution (i.e. we have a low supply of disposable bags, we need a new marker/pen/flashlight battery, please email info@foresthillscsa.com or text or call Marina at (917) 748-3186.

 

WHOM SHOULD I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?

  • Anna, our volunteer coordinator at FHCSAvolunteers@foresthillscsa.com or (917) 715-1865 is the main contact address regarding volunteering. 
  • Marina answers email at info@foresthillscsa.com, which 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!