All in a Day's Work: Volunteer Congress
Volunteer Congress recently spent an important Saturday in April reviewing grants, listening to presenters, deliberating and dispersing grants to both hospitals.
Volunteer Corps has a long term impact on the programs and patient care at both University Medical Center and El Paso Children’s through Volunteer Congress. This is where the volunteers learn to become a donor in the best of ways. Volunteer Congress is the final component of the “learning to give” cycle and a unique opportunity for Foundation volunteers to learn more about the work and efforts of both hospitals. Volunteer Congress 2019 resulted in 11 requests funded to UMC and El Paso Children’s for a total of $49,999.35.
"Volunteer Congress is an extremely unique opportunity for a diverse group of volunteers representing all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds to come together to make a long-term impact on patients, families, and staff at University Medical Center and El Paso Children's Hospital," said Carolyn Williams, Volunteer Corps Program Manager. "This event not only helps the hospitals, it allows the volunteers to learn more about the various positions and departments in the hospital, and leaves them with a good feeling for the good they've done."
On the last Saturday in April of 2019,30 volunteers came together as the Volunteer Congress to review grant applications and to hear presentations from both UMC and El Paso Children’s department leaders who submitted a grant. Once the presentations were finished, the volunteers began a lengthy deliberation where they spent time to ask questions, discuss, vote and determine whether to fund the request and how much money to award.
“This is a unique experience,” said Mia Chan, a student at Missionary Early College High School, and a first-time volunteer and Ambassador at Volunteer Congress. “It is hard to decide; they are all good ideas and the presenters are passionate,” she said, “and what we must decide is what is more necessary right now – how much they have right now.”
High schooler Joseph Lopez, agrees. “It opens your mind,” said Joseph, a student at El Dorado High School and also a first-time volunteer and Ambassador at Volunteer Congress. “You realize what is going on in society and as much as you want to help them, you have to limit yourself to what they need. At the end of the day,” he adds, “it is all about caring.”
The volunteers receive training for Volunteer Congress through participation in the Volunteer Corps’ CORE Skills Training. A highly interactive training, the volunteers improve their skills in communication, conflict resolution, consensus building and compassion, all designed to empower effective communication and teamwork in every area of the volunteers’ lives.
To become a volunteer with Volunteer Corps, please contact Carolyn Williams, Volunteer Corps Program Manager, 915-521-7229, ext. 80528, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.