Volunteering Guidelines: Think before you act

#Volunteer guideline 2: Think before you act
A lot of volunteers have a huge urge to start contributing to the relief work in Chennai. This could be due to various reasons. genuine interest, peer pressure, keenness to begin CSR etc. The larger point is, most of us are just led by a “want to help” without understanding “what to help”. As a result, the following happens
  1. We end up believing messages on whatsapp or FB (without verifying the latest status) seeking food in a particular area and work towards it only to find that requirement fulfilled by some other group already
  2. Assumption about a requirement for something in a locality while the actual need is something else
The best option to handle is in the following manner in the same order
  1. First, do a recce/survey of the area to ascertain the actual need
  2. Second, identify a group leader there who would take responsibility to give you the exact number of the item you are providing. This is easy. Just pick up a conversation with one of them and in a short while, you would have been led to an influencer/self-appointed leader in the group
  3. Next, you identify sources where the relief materials are available
  4. Arrange for the logistics and get at least three volunteers
  5. Park the materials some distance away from the place of distribution.
  6. One volunteer keeps an eye on the material, another regulates the crowd and the third distributes.
  7. It is perfectly fine if you end up spending a little more time because of point 6. It is equally important how to distribute as much as the intention to distribute
  8. Seek information on other groups that would also be contributing in the same area. This will help you to prevent repetition of distribution of the same item
Happy helping!
– Shashikanth Jayaraman

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