Jody Spencer has been involved with non-profit organizations in a variety of ways for many years. Three years ago, Jody founded Because Edmonton Cares as a way to encourage family and friends to become more engaged in their community. Since then, using social media, Because Edmonton Cares has grown to over 160 members who have contributed over 725 volunteer hours to local non-profit organizations. The Other Bottom line is pleased to have Jody Spencer contribute its first guest post.
When people ask me to explain what our volunteer group, Because Edmonton Cares, does I usually get around to using the phrase ‘win-win’. The volunteers leave satisfied they were able to contribute a few hours to their community and the non-profit organization gets the help they needed along with new ambassadors to their cause.
It’s an amazing relationship we are building between those that need help and those that want to help. Many organizations have realized that our group is a bit unique. Our members are not looking for long-term commitments but still want to help when they are able.
Each month I set up one or two volunteer outings by contacting some of our local non-profit organizations and ask if they need a group of volunteers for a few hours. Our group has over 160 members but we usually limit the group size to around 10 people per outing depending on who is available and interested in helping out.Our volunteers have done everything from cleaning, serving meals, wrapping Christmas gifts, to sorting donations.
Over time we are building rapport with non-profit organizations and find they will go out of their way to accommodate us and our unique group. Ronald McDonald House Northern Alberta is a good example of an organization that is always flexible to our changing schedules and is open to ideas on what we can do to help out. One year we helped set up Christmas decorations and the following year we baked Christmas goodies for the guests at the House. From those enjoyable experiences we’ve had people start to collect donations for the House as well as ask how to volunteer additional hours there on their own.
Through these short bursts of volunteering we are engaging the community to learn about non-profits in their city. Each encounter leads to greater understanding, support and commitment to make this city a better place. Again, win-win.
Jody Spencer, Founder
Because Edmonton Cares
Jody Spencer and the members of Because Edmonton Cares are an excellent example of an engaged community reaching out to positively support the non-profit sector.
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