Bountiful Baskets is a Co-op, short for Co-operative, which “…is an autonomous association of persons who voluntarily cooperate for their mutual social, economic, and cultural benefit.” (Source, Wikipedia.com) Basically, everyone needs to participate for the Co-op to work and for it to continue.
If you volunteer on a regular basis, THANK YOU! If you haven’t, let me help you with a little incentive:
~ Exercise: Duration of distribution can vary from 1.5 hours to 2+ depending on the day and what’s going on, but all that time is exercise! We stand around and chat before the truck arrives, put out the baskets and tables, get sacks ready for stone fruits, and at our site, we enjoy fresh baked goodies. (Okay, that’s not exercise but if you’re in the Montana area, you can contribute and volunteer at different sites to find out where we are. HA!) When the truck arrives, we unload it and distribute the produce to the baskets. Now, I’m not an Olympic athlete (FAR from it!) so don’t feel like you have to be in great shape. We can find something to do for anyone with any physical limitation.
~ Sense of Community: The folks who contribute at your site are your neighbors. Whether they live next door, across town, or even in a different town, we are all neighbors. It’s a great opportunity to get to know what’s going on, what local events are happening, maybe find out about jobs that are available if you’re looking for one, etc. If you think about it, you’re around people you may not normally talk to so you’re expanding your view. I also happen to volunteer weekly at a local no-kill animal shelter. At the shelter I talk about BB and at BB some folks ask me about the shelter. Again, you’re expanding your circle and helping your greater community.
~ Meet New People: I recently moved to Montana and although I have a LOT of family around here, I had no other friends and work at home so opportunities were few and far between. Through volunteering I have met some absolutely WONDERFUL friends with who I love spending my Saturday mornings. We also now meet for lunch, coffee, and one is teaching me how to can so we can preserve more of our basket items!
~ Fun: I told a friend the other day, “If we had BB distribution 3x/week, I’d have it MADE!” Volunteering is honestly so fun, I do it every week. Even on weeks we really don’t need a basket, I contribute for one and distribute to family around town so that I can go volunteer for the fun and exercise. Other than work (which is rare), there is nothing that will keep me from volunteering on Saturday mornings. From getting to see what’s on the truck first, to the jokes and laughs, seeing peoples’ smiles when they get their baskets, it’s ALL FUN! Okay, the goodies are great too but I promise, I’d volunteer even if there wasn’t any (but don’t tell them that).
The Co-op asks people to volunteer at least once every 6 baskets or so but really, there are so many reasons to help, why limit yourself? We hope to see folks out volunteering this Saturday! Just check your contribution confirmation to find out what your volunteer time is and maybe even show up a few minutes early.