Over the last year we’ve worked on reimagining how we do things as an organization to foster a more open and inclusive environment. In doing this work and making these changes, we’ve identified areas where we know we can do and be better.
One of those areas is volunteerism.
The 107IST, the Timbers Army, and the Rose City Riveters would not exist without the thousands of hours of volunteer work done by our community. And, in turn, our community has benefited from the work our volunteers have done outside of the organization.
But we recognize that we can go bigger and that we can address the changes needed to open our volunteer spaces to folks who may not have been comfortable stepping up in the past.
From the outside, it isn’t always easy to find a way in and when people have said this in the past, we haven’t responded in a way that opens doors.
So maybe we just take the doors off.
When you think of volunteering for the org, what do you think of? Capos. Drums and trumpets. Tifo crew. Merch. But where do you go if none of those is a good fit?
We’ve had good luck with the Bad Knees Brigade over the last few years, creating a space for folks to do less physically strenuous work. What other groups can we gather and for what purposes?
One of the next steps we've taken is changing the volunteer form on the 107IST website. It still has the traditional areas of interest, but we added space to dream: We’re asking you what talents you can bring to the table.
Maybe you’re really good with spreadsheets. Let us know. Maybe you’re an excellent baker. Let us know that, too. Electricians, plumbers, dentists. People who are good at gardening. IP or civil rights lawyers. Tell us what your skills are, and we’ll see how we can put them to good use in the future.
We’re also looking at ways to reach outside of our organization to lend a hand to our community partners. Do you know of a local organization whose work we might be able to complement? Speak up. We’re listening.
There are more pieces to the 107IST volunteerism puzzle that we’re still talking about and will continue to talk about.
- Recognizing volunteers
- Keeping occasional volunteers engaged
- Welcoming new volunteers and those returning after an absence
- Encouraging folks to find or create opportunities, both within the org and without
If you're willing to help out, fill out the form. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to email kristen@107IST.org. I’d love to hear your past experiences and challenges, as well your ideas for how we can dream bigger.