Bruce, VC member, at the 450 West 14th Street hard hat tour

Greetings, openhousenewyork volunteers and supporters! Bruce McDonald here, from your trusty OHNY Volunteer Council. I’m peering through the computer screen today, searching out some of our most energized and devoted minions to join our ranks, and I think I see one. Yes, you, right there – the one reading this post! I think you’ve got what it takes to be on the V.C.!

A quick rundown: the OHNY Volunteer Council is a group of dedicated volunteers who are tasked with recruitment, training, retention, management, and recognition of our nearly 1000 active volunteers. We meet monthly to chart the course of action for Open House Weekend (it really does take all year to make the planets align for the weekend!); to get briefed by OHNY staff about overall issues and goals for the organization (and how we might be able to help out); and to ensure that all of the wonderful year-round programs and events are populated with warm, welcoming, and knowledgeable folks to act as support for the amazing OHNY staff members.

In addition to our monthly meetings, Volunteer Council members have the honor of acting as District Coordinators on Open House Weekend, overseeing all of the sites and programs within a certain geographic area of the city. As a regular site volunteer, I loved having the opportunity to interact with site sponsors and visitors, but that experience paled in comparison to being the point person for volunteers and sponsors in 10 different locations! Being able to directly experience the diversity of options over the weekend and oversee dozens of volunteers from all walks of life is one of my favorite things about my seat on the V.C.

Another perk to being on the council is representing the volunteer population at large to our supporters. For each year-round program or fund raising event, we make sure that at least two members of the V.C. are front and center alongside members of the staff and board of directors, meeting, greeting, and reinforcing the importance of the work OHNY does with the help of our generous patrons. Plus, as you can see from the accompanying photo, we are one foxy bunch!

Every year at this time, we put out a general call to our volunteers to join the ranks of the Volunteer Council, so if you’re interested, please get in touch with the office and let them know! The only requirements in addition to the duties outlined above are that you are already an active volunteer, that you’re willing to serve a minimum two-year term, and that you commit to our monthly meetings (almost always held on a the second Tuesday evening of the month). By just committing a few hours a month, you can make a palpable difference to OHNY and to the tens of thousands of New Yorkers we serve!

So that’s the Volunteer Council in a nutshell. We have a few open seats at the table…don’t you think one of them should be yours?

(Image courtesy of Jeffrey Donenfeld)

2 Comments to Join OHNY’s Volunteer Council!

  1. Mac's Gravatar Mac
    May 22, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Hi – just came across this place and it sounds like a great site for the OHNY weekend.

    Thought I’d pass it along. See you in October!

    Mac Chiulli

  2. May 30, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink


    I would be interested in considering becoming a volunteer. also Do you have anything set-up for iopen house weekend in Long Island City?

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