“How Can I Help?” – Ideas for Volunteers

It’s imperative that for community events to survive, many hands need to contribute to making the workload light. Not everyone is skilled in writing and leading ritual, not all of us want to be part of the ritual team, and that’s okay. Some of us have disabilities or other limitations that mean we have to get creative with our help, and that’s okay too.

I’ve been asked in the past what people can do to help out their communities at rituals and other events if leadership isn’t for you. Here’s a short list of suggestions, so you can see if there’s any that are right for you, your situation, and your talents. For some of these, you may wish to check with the ritual or event leader first before preparing.

Rituals

  • Come early to the event, especially if you are a group member — set up tables & chairs, put out tablecloths, etc.
  • Be a greeter, and make new guests feel welcome. Organize and set out a hospitality basket for guests (if your group doesn’t have one, volunteer to make one!)
  • Cook a homemade, traditional, or seasonal dish to share at the potluck. The fellowship after the rite is almost as important as the rite itself. Show your commitment to your friends by preparing something wonderful.
  • Help in the kitchen — set up and organize the feast; set out trash, recycling, and compost bags; afterwards, wash the dishes.
  • Stay after the event to help clean up — sweeping, putting away tables, packing bins.
  • Create a piece of devotional art to be displayed on the altar or given as an offering on behalf of the folk.
  • Cook/assemble the main offering for the Deity of the Occasion (DotO) on behalf of the folk.
  • Cook/assemble the offerings to welcome the Kindreds.
  • Learn a new song, and teach it to others for performance in ritual.
  • Tell or read a story about the DotO, in, before, or after ritual.
  • Write or lead a meditation to prepare for the rite, or to meet the DotO in advance of the rite.
  • Plan a craft or activity for before or after the rite.
  • If you have a part in ritual, take the time to learn and rehearse your part in advance.

Your Grove/Worship Group

  • Take the lead on organizing a charity or fundraising event.
  • Volunteer to help with study night — it can be as easy as bringing an article to read out loud and discuss.
  • Host an event in your home. Clean your home well for your friends to make them feel welcome.
  • Bring a snack to share at business meetings, study nights, etc.
  • Attend business meetings. Show your leadership that you care about the direction of your group.
  • Be honest about your level of commitment and abilities.
  • Shadow a leadership/board member in preparation for taking on that position yourself in future years.

Social Events (Pub Moots, etc)

  • Put your phone away!
  • Talk to people who aren’t in your immediate friend group.
  • For pan-Pagan events, refrain as much as possible from talking about your private group’s personal business.

Large Community Events (Samhain Dance, Pagan Pride, etc.)

  • Join the setup and/or tear-down volunteer teams. Without these day-of volunteers, your core organizing committee will have to do all of this work themselves.
  • Attend planning meetings and see how you can help out with advance planning. Large events like Pagan Pride often have specialized teams like first aid or hospitality that could use volunteers.
  • Like, share, and comment on social media posts to help promote the event.
  • Shadow a team leader in preparation for taking on that position yourself in future years.

If you don’t have time to commit to volunteering, but you have the financial ability to donate, consider donating on a regular basis to your Grove or community organizations. Donations such as $5/month, or one hour’s wages/month might not seem like a lot, but many groups run on donations or small amounts of membership dues, and every contribution helps.

What are some other ways that you can help out at events or with your group, if leadership isn’t for you?

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