Super Jooner – Interview with Mary S.

Welcome to our 2nd Super Jooners interview!

Mary S. lives in the Bay Area. She has a son who is in his junior year in college and a daughter who is a freshman in high school. She is currently the PTSA President for her daughter’s high school and has served as PTA president and other PTA positions since her kids were in elementary school. Mary and her husband enjoy watching their kids play sports – competitive soccer for her daughter and college ice hockey for her son. She enjoys helping and volunteering in the schools. Mary says: “We have a great group of parents and have a lot of laughs while we stuff envelopes, etc. ”

Here is our interview with Mary…..

How did you first hear about Jooners?

About two years ago I was coordinating a silent auction basket for my daughter’s soccer team and one of the other moms suggested the Jooners link to help keep track of the items. I had never heard of the link before.

What do you use Jooners for?

EVERYTHING! I have used it at three school sites to coordinate donation of items for raffle or snacks for classroom parties or luncheon items. I have used it to coordinate volunteers for our 5 day high school registration walkthrough — we have almost 200 shifts to fill! My daughter’s sports teams have needed coordination of fundraiser items. One fun thing . . . we collect baked goods to present each high school staff member with a box of treats to take home during Winter Break. This means we must collect over 2000 items to give each of the 160 staff members at least a dozen treats. With Jooners, all the bakers can see what others are bringing so we get a variety. And, they can sign up for one set of baked goods or put their name in several spots if they are baking machines.

Has using Jooners made your life easier? If so, how?

Oh yeah! Way easier! In the past, I have had to contact several hundred people by phone over the summer to coordinate the shifts for the high school registration (mentioned above). This was days and days worth of leaving messages, calling back, then someone would cancel, then people would say to call them back if we still needed help. I had a co-chairperson working on this so she was putting in the same days and days worth of phone calls and emailing back and forth. Now we can send the Jooner’s link our school’s online system. Multiple people can check on the progress. If we don’t have the shifts filled, we can send a second (or third or fourth) request so easily. And then the ‘thank you note’ option? Amazing! Or to send a message to all volunteers to let them know the location has changed by using the ‘contact volunteers’ option (which is exactly what happened two days before our huge high school event). Also Amazing!
What are the three most important things you have learned in your volunteering efforts?

  1. I have learned that we have a great community and a lot of people want to help.
  2. People are busy and the Internet has made contacting large groups convenient for my available time as well as the time of the volunteers. Some people check their email on their phones or in the middle of the night.
  3. If the work is fun (and we always have fun), then it isn’t work at all.

What advice do you have for those new to organizing?

Contact everyone and give them the option to say yes or no. They may not be able to help the first or second time, but there might be a time that works for them. If everyone always feels included, you have a better chance of success and a greater opportunity to meet new people. Oh, yeah, and always use Jooners so you never have the headache of coordinating the volunteers once you have them.

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