My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Chaparral Foundation, Berkeley, CA, USA
I work in non-profits, and the winter before last, I was looking for a place to volunteer that did a different type of work. I found a volunteer job posting for a coordinator to put on a monthly tea party at Chaparral House in Berkeley, with the support of other volunteers. I was excited that the opportunity fit my schedule (I work full-time so can't work during the week and was not wanting to commit to a weekly position). In addition, I had worked with seniors early in my professional career, and had experience putting on events and managing volunteers.
I met with the Volunteer Coordinator and was so pleased with what I saw and felt during that first visit. I saw caring staff who were interacting with residents in a non-condescending manner, a very full activities calendar, and lovely grounds and gardens outside.
Shortly thereafter, I attended an excellent general volunteer training which included wonderful information on working with people with dementia, and Chaparral House rules and protocols. Then I began coming once a month to set up, serve, and clean up the monthly tea party with the help of a rotating crew of other dedicated volunteers.
I've now been coordinating the tea party for a year and a half, and I can say it's been the best volunteer experience of my life. The staff are all excellent communicators, so each month I know ahead of time how many volunteers I will have helping me, for instance.
I've found the staff to be incredibly competent and compassionate and, in general, just lovely people to be around. I have a clear understanding of my role and I feel really valued by everyone there.
Many, many organizations claim to operate from a place of loving compassion, but Chaparral House really walks the walk - it's a very special place and I feel honored to be able to contribute to this very special home.