In order to connect with the volunteers for the ELCA event, we’ve designed a social media map to help them and their families find out about the projects they’re working on. We’ve designed a google map with different icons at the location of each project (like a vegetable at each address where a backyard vegetable garden is being built, a lawn mower at each empty lot that is being cleared, etc). The icons will all be colored red and then changed to green when they are completed. As soon as a volunteer group finishes a project, they will take a picture of themselves and send it to the Green Light office. People working in the office will upload the pictures to the map at the address of the project and change the icon on the map to Green so we will have a live update when volunteers finish a project. We will also be posting the pictures of the volunteers to Facebook. Hopefully getting to see their projects on the map will give the volunteers more of a connection to Green Light and the project they are doing.
The ELCA event was pretty successful over all. We definitely couldn’t have pulled it off without our awesome NCCC team, River 7! They were incredibly helpful in preparations for the event and leading groups of volunteers during the event. The only unfortunate thing was that almost all of the projects got rained out on Friday the 20th. In the morning, the buses all arrived at the different sights and the volunteers waited, hoping the thunderstorms would stop. After a while, it became clear that it was not going to stop raining, and the streets were started to flood. Eventually, we decided to send the morning volunteers home. We hoped that the afternoon volunteers might be able to work, but the rain continued throughout the day, and eventually we had to cancel the afternoon groups too. That was disappointing, but Green Light is partnering with 400 volunteers from the AARP in September and they will be able to complete all the projects that were not finished on Friday.
I ended up working in the office during the event, answering phone calls and live updating the impact map, which I wrote about in my July field report, as volunteers sent pictures. The impact map was pretty cool, especially for bragging purposes. A lot of the volunteers never ended up sending pictures of their groups, so we don’t have pictures of everyone, but for most of the projects, we were at least able to list the names of the volunteers.
You can check out the impact map here: http://www.greenlightneworleans.org/ELCA/ELCAeventimpact719.html
Things are going to be much quieter here now that ELCA is over, but soon we’re going to start planning for the AARP event in September. 400 volunteers are going to seem pretty easy to deal with after 2,400!