Working Shareholder Volunteer Hours Update
As our lives have changed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic so has the Co-op. One of the unfortunate changes we had to make was to suspend in-store Working Shareholder volunteer hours. This was for two reasons. One, our food service operation had to be shuttered for the time being, putting our kitchen and deli counter staff largely out of work. These folks have been instrumental in staffing part of the curbside service jobs, as well as the bulk repacking jobs, so we had their help to get this work done. Two, it is imperative that we slow the spread of germs and our trained staff are able to most effectively handle safely stocking, cooking, selecting, delivering, and packing foods while sanitizing properly. With these two changes in place, unfortunately, we have no need for volunteer shareholder hours in the Co-op, at least for the time being. We will let you know when this changes.
So what do we do now? Well, we are pleased to still offer our Commitment to Community program that allows for Shareholders to receive Shareholder hours for volunteer work executed at local non-profits. This program allows for up to eight hours or four months of a Working Shareholder volunteer hours to be executed in the community. With that in mind, we have reached out to local agencies to see who may need volunteers at this time. We have received very few responses and are learning that until the initial wave of COVID-19 ends they have less volunteer opportunities to share than we’d hoped. But here are some ideas in the meantime:
- Contact a local non-profit. Contact a local non-profit and see if they need support. Please email or call them and do not volunteer if you are showing any signs of sickness. For a list of agencies in the region: https://brattleborofoodcoop.coop/community/commitment-to-community/
- Sew re-usable bags that we sell in-store to fund our Shareholder Assistance Fund program.
- Just email Shareholders@brattleborofoodcoop.coop or call 802-246-2821 to get more details.
- Elder Shareholder. If you are 65 years of age or older you no longer need to contribute shareholder volunteer hours. Just email Shareholders@brattleborofoodcoop.coop or call 802-246-2821 to have your Shareholder account switched over to this status or to become a Shareholder.
- Sew Masks for Your Working Shareholder Hours. We have compiled a few mask-making patterns which are easy to sew and have worked out well for other shareholders.
- Contact Shareholder Services for mask patterns and instructions.
- 802-246-2821 or Shareholders@brattleborofoodcoop.coop
- Garden Work – You can help in the Co-op parking lot and gardens.
- Rake out / hand weed dead grass, weeds between the tufts of grass.
- Prune bushes along side walks.
- Rake/broom around parking lot edges to remove trash / cigarettes.
- Pick up trash in and around parking lot. If you are picking up trash please request a bag at Shareholder Services.
- Remove dead grass with a rake in and around the islands of parking lot, around edges of parking lot along river.
- Weed around edge of Co-op building, on walkways, cracks, and along 3 foot edging within the parking lot.
- CONTACT Shareholder Services for more details, times and training. 802 – 246 -2821 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Food for All. If you qualify for food or other assistance programs such as WIC, EBT, 3 Squares Vermont, disability or have a referral letter from a local non-profit you are able to either switch to a Food for All Shareholder or become one. Contact Shareholder Services for assistance with this step. Just email Shareholders@brattleborofoodcoop.coop or call 802-246-2821.
- Vermont Food Bank. Fill out an application at this link for volunteer opportunities: https://vtfoodbank.volunteerhub.com/. Please note that you would like your volunteer hours with the Food Bank to be tracked for Brattleboro Coop Shareholder volunteer hours.
- Brattleboro Area Farmers Market. The Market has been given go ahead to open and they require volunteers to do so. Sign up for volunteer opportunities here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSciVLBqLMT7se2XMfrvD7YNSA0do1qzlOozrsYfw_qr9iUHeg/viewform
- Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center: Invasive plant work that people can do while social distanced. Email email@example.com or call 257-5785 for more details.
- Help Pull Invasive Water Chestnut with CT River Conservancy
- Water chestnut is an invasive aquatic plant that reappears each summer. If left unchecked, it will take over our waterways. But thanks to the regular monitoring and pulling by CRC volunteers and partners each year, we’re seeing improvement at many infested sites.
- VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED for upcoming pull events.Pulls are scheduled nearly every day until mid-August at a variety of locations including Gill, Northampton, and Holyoke, MA . All CRC volunteer events will follow safe distancing guidelines.
Lastly, we are currently working on a way to enroll and become a BFC shareholder online. Stay tuned for more information on how this will become possible in the coming weeks. In the meantime if you have questions, ideas, or community volunteer opportunities please contact Jon in Marketing and Community Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more details on the Commitment to Community program please visit https://brattleborofoodcoop.coop/community/commitment-to-community/
Jon, Marketing and Community Relations