As Manager of Volunteer Services my main task is scheduling, recruiting, training and retaining volunteers for the entire organization and educating them about Kids’ Food Basket (KFB) including the nature of our cause: attacking childhood hunger. I also coordinate volunteers for other special events promoting Kids’ Food Basket, third party fundraisers, taskforces, and various hunger issue events, etc in the Greater Grand Rapids community. At KFB volunteers comprise a substantial portion of our overall operations, we maintain a staff of eight people but a volunteer force of well over 5,000 individuals, averaging 150 volunteers through our doors daily, and pitching in somewhere in the neighborhood of over $800,000.00 annually. In addition to rallying adult volunteers I oversee the Kids' Helping Kids program which seeks to organize children to help other children through efforts on school campuses and various group gathering throughout Greater Grand Rapids, including both service and non-service programs. Children volunteer hours comprise roughly 25% of our overall volunteer efforts which lead to feeding close to 5,000 kids their third meal, each and every school day. Lastly, I assist with the social media outreach efforts of Kids' Food Basket.
Post college, I chose this area to live in because it's economical, diverse, inviting, safe, and it fulfills my need for city life and activities but also, gives me close proximity to Lake Michigan and all of West Michigan's amazing public beaches and green spaces. This job opportunity was very much unexpected! You really NEVER know where you are going to meet a future employer.
In addition to my responsibilities at Kids' Food Basket, I'm faculty at my alma mater Grand Valley State University where I teach Public Relations and Communications classes to undergraduate students. In this role I am able to bring a slice of the professional world into the classroom to boost the content of the textbook and projects. My students work on real projects on campus and in the community and get a unique perspective on Public Relations, Writing and Communications as it relates to our region.
This is also a position that I was introduced to via a connection, only this time in real life! I can't overstate the importance of networking in this community and how critical it is in order to advance and grow within the region. Despite the immersion of our every day lives in electronic media, engaging relationships both on and offline is key in West Michigan. Being able to function gracefully in both worlds makes for easy immersion in to a city of this size.