BCS Participant Volunteer Guidelines
Volunteering at BCS
- All BCS families are required to start volunteering after one month on the program.
- Each family volunteers a minimum of two hours a month, increasing to four hours a month after three years on the program.
- There is no scheduling required for volunteering in the warehouse.
- The only shifts we schedule ahead of time are childcare and garden shifts, as well as donation pickup routes (see childcare/ garden/ pickup details below).
- Any adult or teen (14 years and up) living in the family household can fulfill the family’s required volunteer shift.
- Family volunteer requirements cannot be satisfied by helpers outside of the immediate household.
- Volunteers must commit to a full two-hour shift. A minimum of two hours per volunteer is required every time you volunteer in the warehouse and cannot be split by two family members.
- We ask that you rotate warehouse shifts between the morning, afternoon, and closing shifts. This means that in the course of a year you do four morning, four afternoon, and four clean up shifts. Having volunteers in the warehouse when it comes time to clean up shop is vital, and we like to make sure volunteers are evenly dispersed throughout the day.
- All families are required to do one clean up shift every 3 months.
- Each family is required to do at least one garden shift every year between March 1 and October 31 (see garden details below).
Getting Started in the Warehouse
- All first-time volunteers must start by reading these guidelines, followed by signing a volunteer liability release form, then signing up for a name tag to be made in the front office.
- After your first-time volunteering, get started with your shift by getting your name tag from yellow name tag bin in the front office, then sign in on the volunteer clipboard at the counter.
- Women volunteers report to Lauren, our cleanroom supervisor. Lauren is usually located in or around the cleanroom/ kitchen.
- Male volunteers report to Jeanelle, our men’s volunteer coordinator. Jeanelle is usually located towards the back (west end) of the warehouse.
- The volunteer coordinator will assign you jobs to do during your shift. Remember, all shifts are a minimum of two hours.
Warehouse Volunteer Hours
|Monday||9:00am to 8:00pm||(Clean up shift begins at 6:00pm)|
|Wednesday||9:00am to 8:00pm||(Clean up shift begins at 6:00pm)|
|Friday||9:00am to 6:30pm||(Clean up shift begins at 4:30pm)|
Clothing Sort Hours
|Tuesday||9:00am to 12:00pm|
|Thursday||9:00am to 12:00pm|
*Please note there is no children’s overseer available on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the clothing sort shifts.
Logging Out After Volunteering
- Please log your time on the volunteer computer, located in the front office. This is how we keep track of your hours. Return your name tag to the black basket located at the same desk.
- As a ‘thank you’ for your time and service, please help yourself to a ‘volunteer gift’ after you have finished your two-hour shift and have logged out. Please ask an employee if you are unsure where the ‘volunteer gift’ area is located.
- You are responsible for logging your volunteer time after each shift. To receive credit for your volunteer time, please be sure to enter it on the volunteer computer as soon as your shift is completed.
- While shopping begins at 12:45pm for regular shoppers, we start shopping at 12:30pm for people who have volunteered that day/week. This is to say ‘thank you’ for your service, and also to allow a few minutes of sharing and fellowship amongst volunteers before shopping begins.
Notes About Volunteering
- You must work your required volunteer shift every month. You cannot “bank” hours for future months. The day in and day out functioning of BCS depends on our volunteers, so we really count on having each of our families here on a regular, monthly basis.
- We have volunteer overseers in the children’s area from 11:00am to 6:45pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, and from 11:00am to 4:45pm on Fridays. You are welcome to leave your kids in the children’s area while you volunteer during these hours. Please note there is no overseer available during clean-up shifts or clothing sort shifts.
- In order be fair for everyone, please do not help yourself to items during your volunteer time.
- Please do not take calls, text, or use your cellphone while volunteering (emergencies only).
- There are cold helper beverages in the cooler located on the side of ‘George’. Feel free to take a beverage during or after your shift.
- If you have any physical limitations, be sure to let the volunteer coordinators know as soon as you check in with them.
- Please wear comfortable clothes, with close-toed shoes that cover your feet entirely. We suggest laying warm clothes in the winter, as the warehouse can get cold.
- Pocket knives are not allowed in the warehouse. A safety box knife will provided when needed.
For Your Safety
- Always give equipment the right of way. Never expect that operators see or hear you. Do not run quickly in front of machinery or try to ‘sneak by’. Please step back and make eye contact with the operators.
- Absolutely no one may operate our power equipment without authorization. Equipment operators must first be trained and authorized by one of our employees. This includes power jacks, fork lifts, and the baler.
- Wear a back brace when you are lifting heavy items. We have them in the warehouse, just ask. Gloves are available as well.
Tuesday and Thursday Clothing Sorts
- Clothing sorts are held in the warehouse every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00am to 12:00pm; you are only required to come for two of the three hours, but we appreciate all who can stay the whole shift.
- We ask that you let us know when you are coming for a clothing sort by filling out the form in our weekly emails. While it is not required to schedule these shifts in advance, we do like to know how many people to expect.
- Children’s overseeing shifts are scheduled in advance. If you are interested in volunteering in the children’s area please call or email Jenn Kirkpatrick to get signed up. You can call Jenn at 503-715-6544 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Overseers do not serve as ‘baby sitters’. Their job is to make sure children do not leave the area unless they are with their parents, and to make sure each child gets logged in and out.
- If you are scheduled in the children’s area and there are not children, check with the front office for an assignment. Please do not be on your phone, reading books, etc. as this time is for serving as a volunteer.
- The last shift in the childcare area is responsible for cleaning up. Please wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant, clean up floors and tables, turn off the TV, and vacuum.
- If you are volunteering in the children’s area, please be sure to read the pink ‘children’s area guidelines’, which can be found in the front office.
- All pickup routes are scheduled in advance. Please email email@example.com, our dispatcher, inquire about available pickups and get signed up for a route. Our dispatcher will email all details and instructions regarding your assigned pickup.
- You must volunteer in the warehouse at least three times before signing up for a pickup route. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the BCS community and gain insight into how we operate.
- Email dispatch if you can’t make your designated pickup so we can send a sub. Please avoid same day cancellations.
- You must unload, weigh, and log all product donations that you deliver back to the warehouse. Ask a staff member for help if it is your first time.
- Record your volunteer time, beginning from when you leave your house to when you are done unloading and logging product.
- Every family is required to do at least one garden shift a season, between March 1 and October 31. The only families exempt from this requirement are those that do a regular, weekly pickup route or a regular, monthly children’s overseer shift.
- All questions regarding volunteering at the garden can be directed to our Garden Volunteer Coordinator, Ashley Schreiner, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- BCS has two gardens: Baker Garden (near Parkrose HS) and Sunderland Garden (in Gresham). Garden Managers are on site at both gardens to give training, direction, and expertise.
- All volunteer shifts can be scheduled online at: http://signup.com/go/6eTe63 (please let Ashley know if you need any help scheduling a shift).
- After completing a volunteer shift at the garden, please log your time on the volunteer computer the next time you in the BCS office. Please log time for any household family members that served at the gardens.
Have questions? See one of our staff members in the BCS front office or call at 503-251-5431. Thank you for serving!