Before the close of 2017, Maker VISTA member Trina Lafata devoted time and thought to managing youth volunteers, and in general, attempting to identify ways to bolster interest, investment and follow-through from volunteers over time. In the summer of 2017, ReCreate launched their first Maker Ambassadors program, wherein high school students served as volunteers and peer-facilitators for the site’s summer programming. However, by December, Trina and the ReCreate team had to consider how to reactivate and re-engage those essential contributors. Facing this often-occurring and relatable challenge, Trina started with the basics: lots (and lots) of reminders and encouragement. With flyers, emails, calendar reminders, and other triggers, Trina was in fact able to reconnect with some of the summer’s Ambassadors, and at a December ornament-making event hosted at a local mall, the high school volunteers provided significant hands-on help. They continued to help for weekend shifts throughout December, and will be supporting at other upcoming community events as well. Volunteers like these Maker Ambassadors are a great value for ReCreate and keep wheels rolling towards sustainability — an important and exciting destination for 2018.
In December, three essential tools or resources for Trina were: