Volunteerism, Work and Mixing the Two: A Distributor Shares Her Story
PM: How long have you been with the center?
JNH: I think it was in 1995 that I started volunteering. To be an advocate on the phones, there is a 6-week training course AARC provides. They always seem to be short people to man the after-hour phones. It's important to relieve the regular staff so they aren't constantly working. While it's extremely rewarding work, it's also very hard on a person; very draining emotionally.
PM: What kind of promotional work do you do for the center?
JNH: I have done different promotions for them throughout the years. Regularly, I do T-shirts for their fundraising volleyball and golf tournaments. Periodically they do school promotions, but money is pretty tight. Sometimes I find a pretty good deal on (purple) wristbands or ribbons or something I think they would like and I just buy them and give them to AARC. I'm not good for my own business. 🙂 (Purple is the color for domestic violence awareness.)
PM: Is it challenging promoting a charity that's such a serious and emotionally palpable cause? (Compared to something like environmentalism or animal adoption, which are wonderful causes but can be emotionally "easy" for lack of a better word.) Why or why not?
JNH: It is in the sense that there is not a lot of money to purchase promotions. They need to spend their money on upkeep of their facilities, and for supplies like toilet paper, toothpaste and food. The promotions they have done have been for educational purposes, or they have had sponsors to help defray costs as in the volleyball and golf shirts.
PM: Since you both volunteer and promote at the same organization, do you have any advice on keeping the personal and business aspects separate?
JNH: I am extremely proud to represent both sides. In fact, I wear shirts with their volleyball or golf promotions on my sales calls. I am proud to represent their cause. The one thing to keep in mind for this organization is confidentiality. In fact, I contacted them before I completed this interview to make sure they approved of me doing it. They are happy to help me out—in fact, they'd like to make sure they get a final copy of it!