Long Term Volunteers: Blacksburg, VA, USA


Restaurant Nights Coordinator

In Blacksburg, Virginia, one restaurant has agreed to participate by doing two restaurant nights (link to restaurant nights page) each year. We need someone to actively seek out restaurants to participate for the other 10 months of the year so that we have one fundraiser going on each month. A calling script, letter to restaurant managers, and organizational spreadsheet will be provided to aid.

Once a year long schedule is established, the main responsibilities of a coordinator are maintaining communication with restaurant owners and managers, confirming events beforehand, making sure they go well, and assuring that Project Esperanza receives the check after the event. After the first year of successful monthly restaurant night, the coordinator confirms the schedule for the following year, which isn't difficult after a successful year. All necessary supportive documents and spreadsheets will be provided.


Merchandise Coordinator

What it involves: Project Esperanza sells t-shirts, baby shirts, sweatshirts, hats, crafts, jewelry, greeting cards, and original Haitian paintings and metal work. We need a merchandise coordinator to keep track of sales, inventory, sales locations, and funds collection. The merchandise coordinator might eventually be in charge of reordering merchandise. They serve as a liaison between:

  • Vendors (including stores and the student organization) and Project Esperanza's financial manager.

  • Artists' representatives in the Dominican Republic and vendors and consumers in the U.S. The merchandise coordinator is not required to interact directly with artists in the Dominican Republic - they just need to be in contact with a Project Esperanza representative who transfers art from the artist to the U.S.

The merchandise coordinator should be willing to form and maintain relationships with vendors. We also need someone who can be reliable in keeping inventory and sales information accurate and up-to-date, as well as someone who can collect funds promptly and consistently from vendors.

Tools: Merchandise inventory and sales spreadsheets, vendor contact lists, logs of vendor relationships and payments, sales agreement documents.

Time Commitment: This role should not require more than 10-15 hours per week. Some weeks may require significantly less work. Ideally our merchandise coordinator would be a permanent Blacksburg resident who would not be leaving town during university breaks.


Community Connections Committee (CCC) Members

There are many ways that institutions and groups in the Blacksburg community can partner with Project Esperanza. A Community Connections Committee member works through contact lists to get in touch with community members and organizations in order to invite them to get involved. An example of an immediate need that the community can be involved in is home and school sponsorship.

Even if you have no previous involvement with Project Esperanza, you are still invited to be part of the Connections committee. We will pair you up with someone that does have more experience so that you can learn the history of the project as well as descriptions of what we do and how people can get involved.

What's involved: Community Connections Committee members should be persistent and bold about speaking about our cause (or willing to learn how to become so!). This confidence comes through practice. It also comes through a firm belief that the cause you are speaking about is worthy of the resources of others, and that you have an ability to help them understand why - regardless of their initial response. 

Members should also be able to consciously relay accurate and detailed information to the public, and should be aware that their effort and self-discipline in making contacts and presenting the project directly affects the development of the organization.

The members of the community connections committee are as follows:

  • Churches Contact

  • Schools Contact

  • Families/Community Members

  • Business Contact

  • Student Organization Contact 

  • Community Organization Contact 

Tools:  Promotional materials to educate community members about Project Esperanza, contact list, contact log (to track progress of relationship with your group and to pass on to future members), & means of transportation to and from meeting places.

Time Commitment: We ask that connections committee members attempt to put in at least 10 hours per week, at least until our sponsor numbers have reached our ideal level. Those 10 hours may be spent making calls and setting up meetings, or presenting in the meetings themselves.


Festivals Coordinator

What's involved: The Festivals Coordinator will be in charge of organizing Project Esperanza's participation in various Blackbsurg and Virginia Tech festivals and events (such as Wonderful First Wednesdays, VT Engage, etc.) Project Esperanza is represented at many local gatherings through setting up a table or booth with things like artwork, t-shirts, informational brochures or hand-outs, list-serv and fundraiser sign-up sheets, etc. The Festivals Coordinator will be the main contact person between the festivals/events and P.E. and will schedule dates for event participation, recruit P.E. volunteers to man the booths, oversee them as they're running and during set-up and tear-down, and get together whatever materials, information, and merchandise is appropriate for the event.

Tools: "The Blue Box" (our box of t-shirts and other merchandise), copies of informational brochures and hand-outs about Project Esperanza, artwork, contact list of local festivals/events, sign-up sheets, P.E. sign.

Time Commitment: Project Esperanza could potentially participate in one or two festivals/events per month. In the week or so leading up to the event, the festivals coordinator would put in 1-2 hours in recruiting volunteers, communicating with festivals, and collecting needed informational handouts/brochures. The event itself usually takes place on a weekend or in the evening and can last 3-4 hours, during which the coordinator would need to be on hand or on call to set up and supervise how things are going.