Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Changes to the Volunteer Program

It's a big day for HSEC! We're announcing changes to our volunteer program that includes a new schedule for volunteer work and a hi-tech, 21st century way to sign up for volunteer positions, view your schedule, and track your hours. It's like we're living in the future!

Every volunteer opportunity will be available to view on our new scheduling website, and volunteers may sign up for spots at their convenience. In addition to our other volunteer opportunities (adoption stands, Bow Wow bingo, etc), every day there will be set shifts to work with cats and dogs. Each shift can only hold a certain number of volunteers - including daily dog walking and cat socialization. Volunteers must now use our new website to schedule a particular shift for every activity. Please do not come to the facility if you are not scheduled for a shift. 

This change is not intended to discourage volunteers from coming out to socialize the dogs and cats. On the contrary, we're hoping for better, more even coverage! Right now, volunteers may all come at the same time, meaning that we sometimes have too many volunteers, while at other times we do not have enough. Animals thrive on predictable schedules, and this will also help the facility staff prepare to assist volunteers. This new program is based on successful programs at other animal welfare organizations, and we're very excited about it!

We hope this change will make it easier on your schedule too. Pick the same shift each week to make your volunteer work easy to remember. Sign up with a friend or two - make it a weekly date! If you come in to volunteer without signing up for a shift, you will be welcome to take any open spots on the schedule. If none are available, you will be asked to schedule yourself for another time.

If you don't see a volunteer opportunity that fits your interests or needs, let us know. We always have odd jobs like facility maintenance, gardening, data entry, and so on. If you have a skill, chances are we have a need!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about our new system, please contact Katie Benson: hsecvolunteergmail.com or 252-227-9193. You can also leave your questions here in a comment and we will continue to edit this post with the answers so they are available to everyone.

In order to use our scheduling site, you must first register with us.

If you have NOT volunteered with us before:
For adults, click here.
For juniors, click here.

Junior volunteers are ages 13-17. All junior volunteers must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to orientation, and volunteers who are 13-15 must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times. We do not allow volunteers younger than 13. Sorry, it's a liability/insurance issue.

Once we receive your form, you will be able to sign up for orientation. After orientation, you can use the rest of the site as normal to sign up for opportunities.

If you are a CURRENT volunteer:
For adults, click here
For juniors, click here 

After you are registered, you can use your login (email and password) to view and sign up for volunteer opportunities at the Volunteer Information Center here. You may want to bookmark this page, and the link will also be available through our website.

Need a little more direction to complete this task? Read on for details!

Filling out the Volunteer Information Form:

The link for adult volunteers will take you to a page that looks like this (the junior volunteer page is similar):

Fill out the information (required areas are marked with an asterisk), be sure to accept the terms and conditions at the bottom of the page, and click 'continue'. When you have registered successfully, you will see this page:

You can then sign into the Volunteer Information Center using the link above. After signing in with your email address and the password you created in the previous step, you will see this page (except obviously with your name instead of mine):

This is your Home page. When you want to return to this page, just click 'Home'. Each of the options will take you to a different part of the site. Be sure to use the links on the page to move around, don't use the back button.  Our new volunteer website allows you to see when we have a need for volunteers. It also has a spot for you to track your hours and view your service history with HSEC.

If you want to sign up for a volunteer opportunity, or just see what is available, click 'My Schedule'. Scroll down, and you will see this calendar:

On every day when there is a volunteer opportunity, you will see a 'Help Wanted' sign. If you want to see only certain types of volunteer positions, you can select from the drop down menu in the blue box:

Click on the 'help wanted' sign on each day to view the opportunities available, and scroll down to see the schedule:

Click on 'Job description' for more information about each task. If you would like to volunteer for this position, click on the green 'Schedule me' button to the right of the task. And look! There, on September the 27th, the very first volunteer opportunity is the blog meeting at 7pm at the Tipsy Teapot! I'm going to schedule myself for this amazing and fantastic opportunity to serve HSEC.

Clicking on the 'Schedule me' button takes me to this page:

Just click Yes (or No, if you do not want to sign up for this spot), and you will see a confirmation screen thanking you for signing up. Clicking 'Continue' takes us back to the calendar, where you will now see your event scheduled:

You can continue to look through the available volunteer opportunities and sign up for as many as you wish. Links below the calendar will take you to the previous month or to next month.

When you're through using the site, click on 'Exit' to be logged out.

Questions using the site? Leave a comment below and we'll address it at the end of this post. Don't be shy! If you have a question, chances are someone else has the same one.

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