A few weeks ago, Gerald Tieyah, FBSJ’s Volunteer Services Manager and Seth Koshgarian, FBSJ’s Senior Data Manager, made an announcement in our team’s monthly all-staff meeting. They had received a donation from a regular FBSJ volunteer who noticed that our volunteer sign-up system was feeling a little outdated…
Previously, Tieyah was managing the volunteer sign-in process with paper, which had a tendency to pile up quickly. An arduous process that involved manually writing out information each and every time a volunteer came through the doors, and tracking that information with stacks of paper forms that needed to be sorted, keyed, and filed, a regular volunteer noticed the inconveniences the paper system presented and sought out Koshgarian to help update the technology.
“I just wanted to help,” said Jim Alturo who has been volunteering weekly with FBSJ since 2015. Giving back has never been a big deal for the retired Palmyra resident who noted his involvement with the United Way through his job for over 30 years. Upon retiring, Alturo knew that he wanted to spend his newfound time volunteering at the Food Bank.
“I have a great time volunteering here,” says Alturo, “everyone is so friendly and happy to see you that it makes going there such a pleasant experience. Everyone is open to listening to ideas too!”
When Alturo had the idea to make the volunteer sign-in process more efficient, he made it happen by working with Koshgarian to donate a new computer system that could digitize the process. The previously manual, and time-consuming paper system, now functions with ease allowing new volunteers to easily input their information on the computer which is saved and cataloged to streamline their future sign-ins. The digital log-in form has already cut down on hours of tedious work for Tieyah who was ecstatic to share the news with the team.
“This new system is great because we can now easily track donated hours, volunteer information, and assignments with greater accuracy and efficiency,” states Tieyah.
The team now have plans to utilize the system for tracking volunteer time outside of the building, a function that wasn’t previously available in its outdated format, helping programs like our Summer Meals program flow more smoothly.
Alturo, who was surprised by the amount of gratitude he received from the FBSJ staff for the donation, didn’t think the new computer system would be a big deal saying, “I didn’t want any attention…I just wanted to help!” But he quickly found that even the “little things” have a big impact for FBSJ.