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The Latest Dirt - July 2022

Membership Project is Renamed Volunteer Support

By Jon Dwyer

Photo by Bonnie Dwyer. Volunteer Support Lead Jon Dwyer in his garden.
Photo by Bonnie Dwyer. Volunteer Support Lead Jon Dwyer in his garden.

One project in our UC Master Gardener program is named Membership, but there is much more that the project does than what a person would answer if they were asked, “What do you think that the CoCoMG Membership project does?”

Some tasks that Membership leads or co-leads do that directly affect every UC Master Gardener are ordering and distributing the nice new badges that everyone is getting this year, as well as all the normal semiannual badges and pins for those that have reached volunteer hours milestones. In addition, one of the leads is our VMS administrator. Another is responsible for the periodic Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Newsletter, which recruits CoCoMGs to take on a lead position for a particular job, as well as just announcing opportunities to participate. And we can’t forget the hospitality team that organizes our semiannual social events when we can have them. This includes selling logo wear.

There are multiple miscellaneous admin type functions such as heading up the Nominating Committee, and other internal requirements.

Currently we are in the middle of the Annual Reappointment process. The time and effort that the two individuals that manage this process spend working on it are significantly more extensive than it might seem. They go the extra mile (e-mails, phone calls, etc.) to ensure that individuals are current with all the hours that they should be credited with, while also working to make sure that the required volunteer and continued education hours have been completed for individuals to maintain their Active status.

And yes, part of Membership is the group of volunteers who work on Recruitment: the process of soliciting candidates, holding information sessions, and then reviewing and scoring the completed applications to select students for the next New Volunteer Training class.

As we sat back and looked at all the various functions that the members of the Membership project cover, we concluded that the name of the project should be changed to better describe what it really does. So look for upcoming news of our newly renamed “Volunteer Support.”