July and August are often a great opportunity to catch up on major administrative tasks – they are quiet months for fundraising. As a young charity there are still so many systems we can put in place – I’m making a new Ops Manual, which at first I thought I could undertake in a matter of days but soon realised that it is a mammoth task and could, in fact, take me many months. (Remember I have three major events, one overseas challenge and five smaller events to organize at the same time).
All the filing time (14 hours over two days!) has allowed me to think about the myriad of ways It’s Good 2 Give relies on its volunteers. Our admin system was set up by a volunteer project manager; our stunning Christmas cards which have just arrived were designed by volunteers, printed by a very supportive local printer, and will be packed by volunteers. In the same spirit, we have now a number of young Ambassadors representing our charity at their school or college. Their enthusiasm and energy are just what we need to help raise awareness of our work.
On a weekly basis we deliver healthy snacks into the local oncology ward at the Children’s Hospital (at the request of the dietician) – these are so well received and we really enjoy shopping for them and taking them in. When one of our volunteers was shopping for us this week she was approached by one of the young store staff to ask why she was buying such huge quantities of fruit pots, etc. After explaining about the healthy snacks scheme this young man offered his services as a volunteer for the next few months before he goes off on a gap year. Yes, I am taking him up on his offer!
I am constantly amazed by the enthusiasm, skills and ideas of the people who contribute to It’s Good 2 Give. I also genuinely believe volunteering has benefits for the volunteer, as well – I have seen people discover talents they never knew they had, and really enjoy being part of events that are fun as well as being for a good cause. I like to think that It’s Good 2 Give is a community within itself: we work together, have fun, and individually contribute skills that are not only useful, but make us happy, be that design, or organisation on event nights, or wonderful new fundraising ideas.
Following on from that, I have an amazing opportunity coming up near Christmas and will need as many volunteers as I can get my hands on. We have been ‘given’ three trees in St Andrew’s Square in Edinburgh. Our plan (which is a work in progress so bear with us) is to offer – for a donation – the chance to write a message of hope or thanks and hang it from the trees in the run up to Christmas. It’s a thrilling prospect, and if you’ve got a few hours to spare, I’d love to hear from you! Volunteering is exciting, rewarding, and invaluable for those it helps: I should know, I’ve been one for six years and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had.
You can find out how to support It’s Good To Give by clicking on the image.