NAMI Massachusetts is only made possible because of our wonderful volunteers!
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with NAMI Massachusetts. Volunteers are essential to the work that NAMI Mass does. Here are the events that offer volunteer opportunities and how to get involved in each one. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the office at 617-580-8541 and ask for Deputy Director, Karen Gromis.
“An act of kindness, no matter how small, is never forgotten. Thank you for your interest in making a difference! ”
This is the largest anti-stigma event in Massachusetts and raises money for the signature education and support programs provided by NAMI Mass. Making up 40% of our annual budget, the Walk also funds local chapters as well as community programs. 100 volunteers are needed to produce a safe and fun NAMIWalks event for all. Volunteers assist with set up, clean up, registration, rest stops, and cheering. Please see a more detailed description of the Walk volunteer opportunities below.
Date: Saturday, May 14, 2016 (Check the NAMIWalk page)
Time Commitment: Two to Six hours on or before the day of the event
To apply, please fill out and fax the Walk Volunteer Sign-Up Sheet to (617)-580-8673. After the form is reviewed you will be contacted. If you have any questions, please contact Ally Kuriloff, Assistant Walk Director, at 617-580-8541.
Please note that times may be subject to change.
*The 2015 Walk schedule is below… info about 2016 coming soon!*
Brief Orientation 6:00-6:15am Signs orientation by Karen
To run smoothly, 8 volunteers are needed. You will first unload the Truck that brought items from the office. You help put up canopies and up tables and chairs at the registration, food, volunteer check-in, first aid, and the vender areas. Break-down involves taking down the canopies and folding up the tables and it should be over and you’ll be out of the park no later than 2pm. Some clean-up may be required (usually picking up water bottles).
You’ll be hanging the Walk banner and other banners where the Karen Gromis, Walk Manager, indicates. You’ll also be placing kilometer sponsor signs along the Walk route and you will be putting up signs at all the booths where they need help, which is most of them. It’s good to work in a team since some signs need to be held by one person while the other one fastens it. We’ll supply the fasteners and tools necessary.
Arrive by 9:00am
Brief orientation 9:00-9:15am which will include an overall safety discussion
Drop off at your Water spot between 9:45-10:30am
Walk back or pick up between 12:30-1:00pm
There are 3 water stops around the 3 mile/5 kilometer route. Each water stop will have 2 people stationed at a table so 6 volunteers are needed. You can sit at this task and will need to get up occasionally to place water bottles on the table so they’re available for walkers to retrieve. Some will be placed in a barrel that has ice near or next to you. You’ll also replace the bottles put on the table with some that you put into the ice. There should be some water bottles that have not been in the barrel with the ice in case there are people who don’t want very cold water. One of the people at the water stop should have a cell phone in case you need to contact us or we need to contact you.
Arrive by 9:00am
Brief orientation 9:00-9:20am
Drop off at your Safety spot between 9:45-10:30am
Walk back or pick up between 12:30-1:00pm
There are 6 safety positions located at various spots around the 3 mile/5 kilometer route. Some spots require 2 people (total 9 volunteers needed). Each safety person will be given a fluorescent colored vest to wear. Your primary responsibilities are: to monitor the crowd for people needing assistance, guide the crowd to safely stay on the route and if there is a problem to respond promptly. You can sit at this task but will need to watch the walkers carefully to spot anyone who may need assistance in the form of: 1) pick-up by a lag wagon which will give them a ride back to the main parking lot; or 2) call the nurse’s station to ask for medical assistance for someone who has fallen/injured themselves or anyone who needs medical attention. There will be a briefing of the procedures beforehand and you’ll receive the contact info for the nurse at the First Aid area and your Volunteer Captain. No medical knowledge or experience is necessary. Always err on the side of caution and contact the nurse on her cell phone for guidance if you’re unsure. We have an EMS team on site for emergencies, so no one should feel that they can’t contact the nurse for guidance on how to proceed.
Arrive by 7:00am
Brief Orientation: 7:00-7:15am
7 Volunteers are needed for this area. There are 12 parking satellite lots located near the Walk site. Shuttle buses will pick people up after they’ve parked their car and take them to the Walk site. There will be 2-3 people stationed at the satellite lot and once the lot is full, they move on to the next satellite lot and so on. At the satellite lot, you direct people to where they can and can’t park. Tell the drivers to put the colored paper parking directions for that lot on the dashboard. Anyone with a different color paper has to be directed to that respective satellite lot. Once your satellite lot is full, please report to your Volunteer Captain in the main lot for further instructions.
If you’re stationed in the main parking lot, you’ll be handing out colored parking directions. When the sheets of a particular color are used up that particular satellite lot is full and then the next color is for next satellite lot. Some volunteers will be involved with the safe unloading of the buses and directing people off of buses to where registration and the stage areas are located.
Arrive by 8:00am
Brief Orientation 8-8:30am
You should be done by 12:30pm
12 volunteers are needed for this area. There are 4 tables in one area for pre-registered walkers/teams and 3 tables where walkers will fill out forms. You can sit at this task but must be good with details and follow-through. It can be very hectic between 9:30-11:00am so you have to be able to work well with lots of people. Registration begins at 9am. Some of you will be dealing with Walk Team Captains and some with individual walkers. Some of you will help individual walkers fill out registration forms. Generally things taper off soon after 11am when the walk starts so you’ll be able to help pack up (if able) and leave by 1pm.
Arrive by 8:00am
Brief Orientation 8:00-8:15am
You should be done by 1:00pm
This area needs 3 or 4 volunteers. Walkers get a t-shirt if they raise $100. They will get a ticket at registration which they hand into one of you. If they’re a member of a team, then the Team Captain brings over the number of tickets and tells you how many t-shirts of each size they need and you collect the tickets. Be sure the number of tickets match the number of t-shirts given.
You’ll also have to organize your area and replenish as necessary. This is a busy spot most of the time from 9am until 1pm so you must have stamina. You’ll be handing out Walk t-shirts to team captains and walkers with tickets. You’ll also have to organize your area and replenish as necessary. This is a busy spot most of the time from 9am until 1pm so you must have stamina.
Arrive by 10:15am
You’ll be done by 11:30am
You will be standing at the start line to help regulate the flow of the walk line so no one gets trampled or that the walkers don’t back up. We supply tall Start/Stop signs that you use to start and stop the walk line according to the speed of the walkers. We’ll provide extra guidance the morning of the Walk taking into account the weather and other factors.
Arrive by 10:15am
You should be done by 1:30pm
You will be cheering the walkers as they cross the finish line!! Some of you will be handing out the walk pin to walkers. Cheerleading squads are welcome here and along the route. We need to give a lot of encouragement so a lot of volunteers are needed! This task only lasts about 2 hours.
Annual Advocacy Day Volunteers
NAMI Massachusetts conducts a Legislative Advocacy Day at the Massachusetts State House each year usually in March or April. The event is for four hours as follows: registration and networking; a program of speakers; light lunch and networking; and ending with a visit to the legislators offices. The program of speakers focus on the mental health budget and the Senate and House bills that NAMI Mass has determined fit within it’s legislative priorities. Advocacy Day opportunities for volunteers consist of: helping at entrances to guide mental health advocates to the location of advocacy day; checking-in and registering mental health advocates; supervising lunch distribution; helping mental health advocates locate their legislators offices; directing mental health advocates to their legislators offices; and in some cases escorting mental health advocates to their legislators offices. You would need to arrive an hour before the start of registration time to help set-up and get oriented to the State House. Contact the Office Manager if you are interested in this opportunity.
Annual State Convention Volunteers
NAMI Massachusetts produces an Annual State Convention in October and it’s conducted at a different location each year. The convention generally is from 8:00 am until 3:30pm. The agenda of the day for the convention is as follows: registration and networking; morning program with featured speaker; morning workshop; sit-down plated lunch; and ending with an afternoon workshop. There are generally eight workshops, four each in the morning and afternoon. Volunteers assist with: unloading convention materials and set-up of registration and the NAMI information and NAMIWalks awards tables; checking-in and registering of attendees; directing vendors and artists to the exhibit areas; placing materials out for the morning program; directing attendees to workshop locations; assisting with member voting of Board of Directors; and packing up of any items that need to return to the office at the end of the event. Volunteers attend the event and are provided lunch with the attendees at no cost. Virtually all volunteers may attend the workshops. Contact the Office Manager if you are interested in this opportunity.
Fundraising Event Volunteers
NAMI Massachusetts hosts events to have fun, raise money and fight the stigma of mental illness that individuals and families have to face in many everyday situations. Volunteer opportunities are generally one-time commitments for three to eight hours. Volunteers participate in the events at no cost and generally are able to actively participate in the event as well. Fundraising events take place at various locations. Volunteers assist with such tasks as: setting-up the event; checking-in of attendees; directing attendees to the event, placing materials out for attendees; and packing up materials to return to the office at the end of the event.
Examples of past fundraising events include: a reception with Senator Elizabeth Warren, a reception with Actress Activist Glenn Close, a wine-tasting; and the Next-to-Normal theatre production reception. Contact the Office Manager if you are interested in volunteering for fundraising events.