The email read like a response to a job posting. Someone listing their many years of experience and willingness to take any job offered, at any time of day, doing whatever was needed.
What a great attitude! Hire that person!
But wait! It wasn’t an applicant’s reply to a possible job but a volunteer responding to a request for help at our annual fundraiser.
Anytime/anyplace. I have 25+ years of Shrimp Boil experience.
Just tell me where/when/how long. I generally come at the start and leave at the end and am happy to help anywhere you need me (sweep floors/clean up in the kitchen/work booths/sell tickets/work the silent auction area/collect money at the end of the night for goods purchased!
I’m flexible and willing to work.
“Happy Wednesday” – Hazel
I had to smile after reading it, thinking of the hundreds of people who have come out to the Pasadena Convention Center, given up their Saturday to help us ‘sweep floors, cook shrimp, serve plates, sell tickets, do whatever is needed. They arrive early and stay late and as Hazel said are: “Willing to work.”
When most non-profits have a fundraiser, the most that is asked of a guest is to purchase a ticket and attend. Those guests might bid on a silent auction item at the event or make some other donation but that’s about the depth of their commitment. Buy a ticket, show up, enjoy. That’s it!
But not at The Rose. No. Our events tend to be a bit different—especially the Shrimp Boil.
First off, we ask folks to donate items to silent auction—nice items, the nicer the better. Then some of those same folks show up to arrange the items they donated (or secured from someone else) in oversized baskets. They wrap and decorate those baskets, making them as appealing as possible and label each with some kind of intriguing description. So imagination is required, inheaps, especially when trying to turn a basic moderately priced wine basket into ‘A rendezvous with Cupid” or some other such nonsense.
In the end some of those same folks will end up bidding on those silent auction items carrying home what they originally bought! Go Figure!
But the fun has only begun. We ‘volunteer’ unsuspecting husbands, brothers and sons to come out and do the heavy lifting before the event, setting up large round tables and enough chairs to seat a 1000 people. They grumble and complain; we fuss over them and flatter. It works.
People show up hours before the doors open at 4:00 P.M. to help decorate those tables or set up the silent auction items, merchandize tables and drink area.
The most involved area for set-up is the dessert table. Eight long six foot tables butted up end to end literally groan under the weight of dozens of cakes, pies, cookies, loafs of banana bread and anything else that volunteers brings. All homemade, all donated. Some people bake for weeks for the Shrimp Boil. Once at the event, every cake and pie has to be cut into serving pieces and wrapped, cookies packaged in plastic baggies. It’s a gooey, sticky job but somebody has to do it.
These are the same people who have been selling entry tickets to friends and family for weeks, who will also buy their own tickets or a couple of tables and still they show up to help with set-up or hang around until the end for clean-up. Yes, all those 70 plus tables and 1000 chairs have to be cleaned off, stacked and put away.
The most unbelievable aspect of this whole concept is that people come back--year after year-- for more.
As Hazel proudly pronounced “I have 25+ years of experience.”
Sure, it may not be the type of thing that you’d list on your resume but then this experience belongs to different kind of resume. The resume that shares your “lifework”, not just the work related to a job. It’s documented on that secret resume, the one that is never printed out but everyone can easily see.
It’s the lifework that belongs to every volunteer who comes out to help, who gives hours of time, or donations, or does the physical work. That’s lifework.
In the end it is that lifework that means some woman will be able to receive a mammogram, or an ultrasound or a biopsy. She’ll be a person no one will know or will never meet. But she will have a chance to survive breast cancer, because of these volunteers and their ‘willingness to work.”
For her, those hours will translate to life, hopefully many years of life.
So if you haven’t made plans for this coming Saturday, we have a job for you! The only requirement is that you are flexible and willing to do whatever is needed. But we promise you’ll have fun, enjoy a great meal, see great entertainment and leave knowing the time and effort you gave add up to care for another human being.
All life workers apply here.