By Jenny Bedell-Stiles
Maybe you’ve heard at this point how great being a crew leader with Friends of Trees is. You help build community! Increase sustainability! Create safer neighborhoods! Restore native habitat! Mitigate stormwater runoff! Good stuff, all that. But there are other great reasons to join the crew leader ranks on a more personal level.
No crew leader in our ranks could possibly deny the appeal of free breakfast and (in our Neighborhood Trees program) lunch, too!
At a typical planting we’ll have:
- Coffee, tea and hot chocolate donated from Starbucks and Peets, as well as local coffee shops;
- Voodoo Doughnuts and Grand Central Bakery goodies: two staples of our breakfast spread;
- Bagels and cream cheese, muffins and pastries;
- And for you healthy types, fresh fruit, and, um … tea, did I mention tea already?
Our Neighborhood Trees plantings also usually have a community potluck provided by the hosting neighborhood group after all the trees are planted. Chili or pizza anyone?
We also host crew leader happy hours from time to time during the season where the first couple rounds are on FOT. They’re always well-attended and a great way to meet other good-natured folks.
Did you know that “swag” was once known as the acronym “Stuff We All Get.” Well, not all of us. At Friends of Trees, only our most important volunteers are given a coveted Friends of Trees “Tree Team” t-shirt. Crew leaders also get to wear the heralded colorful vest.
We also raffle away and award other fun items at our volunteer appreciation events including:
- Friends of Trees Klean Kanteen water bottles;
- Vintage Friends of Trees t-shirts;
- Gift certificates to our favorite bike or coffee shops;
- KIND bars and granola
The take-home message here is that crew leading results in cool and tasty stuff—not just for your community, but for you, too! So what are you waiting for? Get on over to our web site to learn more about the role, and register for one of our popular October or November trainings!
–Bedell-Stiles is the Volunteer & Outreach Program Specialist at Friends of Trees, and her favorite Voodoo Doughnut is the vegan fruit cake topped with chico stick.