STEP 4: Organize Volunteers

This project requires staff volunteers, community sewing volunteers, and experienced sewers to act as mentors and provide sewing support.

Types of Volunteers Needed

Staff volunteers: Help with distributing PPE kits and collecting completed PPE at a physical location. See Distribution Volunteer Training for more information on selecting and training staff volunteers.​

Community volunteers: Help assemble PPE using provided kits.

Mentor volunteers: Help support community volunteers by answering questions and motivating volunteers to complete their PPE kits. Social media platforms (such as Facebook) allow volunteer mentors to connect with community volunteers to offer support in real time. See Mentor Survival Kit for information on selecting and training these volunteers.

Volunteer Registration

Plan a way to register community volunteers to participate in your project to ensure accountability among volunteers to return completed PPE. Community volunteer registration can be managed using a social media platform (such as Facebook) or through a volunteer registration website (see below for suggestions). Regardless of what platform is used, it should be able to:​

  • Handle large numbers of volunteers registering at the same time.​
  • Provide volunteers with information on where and when they should pick up PPE kits.​
  • Track the number of volunteers who sign up.​

JustServe.org was the volunteer registration website used as the registration tool for organizing ProjectProtect (visit https://www.justserve.org/projectprotect to view the ProjectProtect volunteer registration site). JustServe.org is not available in all areas. Other volunteer registration websites may already exist in your area and are typically offered through area and regional nonprofit (NPOs) or non-governmental (NGOs) organizations.​

For ProjectProtect, volunteer opportunities were posted on JustServe.org, and volunteers could select their preferred location and time to pick up a PPE materials kit. (In Utah, volunteers were involved in sewing clinical face masks.) Doing pilot phases before the full rollout made it possible for all parties involved to have time to learn and improve the volunteer experience. It also produced experienced volunteers who were later willing to act as mentors.

Volunteer Support​

Support is needed throughout the PPE assembly process to answer questions, share tips, and keep community volunteers motivated. Project team members and mentoring volunteers can offer timely and accurate support. Identifying competent volunteers with experience assembling PPE to become mentors will greatly enhance the quality of support and reduce the overall load of support for project team members. See Mentor Survival Kit (also see Terms of Use) for details.​

Choose a social media platform for community volunteer support with the following: 

  • Familiarity to volunteers in your area.
  • Ability to provide real-time posts for questions community volunteers may ask during the assembly process.
  • Ability to organize posts using tags or filters (such as FAQs, registration, assembly Instructions, etc.)​

A ProjectProtect Facebook group was used as the social media platform to provide community volunteer support during the PPE assembly process.

Step 5 | Step 3 | PPE Home