Organization: Western Maine Community Action
Volunteer Opportunity Number: V-105
Volunteer Position: Various – for Operation Santa Claus Project
Location: Wilton, Maine
Period of Engagement: Fall 2015
Description of the Volunteer Opportunity:
Western Maine Community Action (WMCA) is a social service agency that has been providing services for over 45 years to people living in the western mountain region of Maine. The organization is dedicated to the principle that poverty should not be a permanent condition of people’s lives. WMCA is able to respond quickly and effectively to the variety of needs of our disadvantaged population. We strive to marshal as many resources as possible in our efforts to provide comprehensive services responsive to conditions.

The agency is seeking student volunteers to assist in coordinating and implementing the agency’s annual Operation Santa Claus project.  Several aspects are involved in the oversight and coordination of this project, and a variety of duties to fit different interests and skills, including marketing, communications, financial, events planning and management, data management, and working with volunteers, staff and donors.  This project provides opportunities to develop management and leadership skills.

For more information on Western Maine Community Action, please visit their website at: http://wmca.org/

Volunteer Responsibilities/Opportunities:
Work as a team with staff and fellow volunteers to coordinate and implement the Operation Santa Clause project.  Volunteer work can include the following, depending upon the volunteer’s interests and skills:

 

Giving Tree Coordination:

  • Handle communications with businesses hosting tags
  • Print tags and deliver them to businesses
  • Pick up gifts from businesses
  • Involve more businesses/employers in hosting gift tags and drop off boxes
  • Set up board backdrop to hold tags in cases where there is not room for a tree

Volunteer Group Coordination:

  • Schedule volunteer training in October
  • Schedule groups and individuals that want to volunteer on site at the North Pole
  • Maintain accurate volunteer logs

Donor Coordination:

  • Record cash donations in Sage Fundraising Software
  • Send thank you letters and emails
  • Maintain and provide list of donations to individual handling Public Relations Coordination
  • Manage Online Store

Public Relations Coordination:

  • Write weekly press releases
  • Update website and Facebook pages
  • Send articles to Daily Bulldog
  • Work with WKTG and WTOS
  • Work with community members wanting to donate time or hold events – i.e., Santa collecting gifts with the Farmington Fire Department
  • Educate the community about the program and WMCA in general
  • Responsible for ensuring the WMCA logo is on all Operation Santa materials

Events Coordination:

  • Work with outside groups to do fundraisers and collections
  • Be present at local community events
  • Ugly Sweater Party
  • Develop new events

Client Relations Coordination:

  • Schedule drop off locations for deliveries to each town
  • Field client calls
  • Review applications and eligibility criteria
  • Develop suggested list of education options for clients

Data and Inventory Coordination:

  • Enter data from client applications
  • Create and run reports as required
  • Develop tag lists
  • Develop shopping lists
Qualifications:
Interns will be assigned responsibilities based on their individual skills and interests.

  • Good communication (verbal and writing) skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills – able to work well with staff and the general public
  • Good organizational skills
  • Training and/or experience in marketing and business management
  • Good computer skills – i.e., updating social media and/or data entry
  • Strong work ethic
  • Mature and self-motivated
  • Dependable to work through the length of the project
Application Process:
This annual program may be done as a team, club, or class project.  Application is made through UMF’s Partnership for Civic Advancement.
Contact the Partnership at 207-778-7516 or via email at:  pca@maine.edu
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