St. Vincent de Paul Parish Soup Kitchen
Jackie Lorens, St. Vincent de Paul Parish Soup Kitchen
Number of Volunteers:140
Jobs Scheduled:Meal preparers, coffee servers, sandwich makers
Samantha: Can you tell me a bit about what the Soup Kitchen does?
Jackie: We provide a morning meal six days a week to guests in the Chicago communities. We have a crew of five volunteers who prep for the morning meal. [They] serve the food and coffee, interact with the guests and talk with [guests] when they come in. Then on Saturdays we have a second crew of volunteers that also make sandwiches for the rest of the week.
Samantha: How was volunteer scheduling done in the past? What made you seek out a scheduling solution like Volunteer Scheduler Pro?
Jackie: In the past, volunteers were basically coming in and signing up on a piece of paper, which actually made things really confusing, because people weren't getting reminders, and people were forgetting to come in to sign up to volunteer. It was a combination of people not showing up, people not finding subs, and just trying to get volunteers to come in in the first place.
Samantha: Has VSP been helpful in that regard... in getting more volunteers involved?
Jackie: Oh yeah, I think it's definitely a lot easier. People will email me and ask to be added to the database, or we even have a link on our website so that they can... enroll themselves. I've seen a lot more volunteers come in just because it's a lot easier to access. I think it has become a lot easier to become a volunteer, just because it's more accessible and it's quicker for people.
Samantha: What would you say are the three greatest benefits of VSP for St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen?
Jackie: It's definitely a great communication tool. Not only can we express our need for volunteers, but then we can also express any other announcements in a very easy and accessible way with the Emailer. It's also very user friendly for volunteers to sign up, whether way ahead of time or at the last minute. And then it's also really accommodating for volunteers who might have an emergency situation or conflict and they need a sub. They don't have to go through some sort of phone tree or call me late at night or [just] not show up at all without any explanation. They can just ask for a sub. Not only does it give us peace of mind that we have the volunteers that we need, but it helps the volunteer know that someone is taking over for them, and it gives somebody else an opportunity to volunteer.
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