What Would You Do? Summer 2021

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

A regular volunteer comes to you two days before the mission trip she has planned to attend and says that her Safe Gatherings approval has not come back yet. You had reminded her a couple of times over the last month or two, but she still hasn’t completed the necessary steps. She says, “I’ve been volunteering here for 5 years, can’t you just let it slide this time?” What do you do?

In theory, there is a pretty simple to answer to this, and that answer is “Sorry, no.” Doing your due diligence means that everyone is subject to the same processes, and you can’t make an exception because someone didn’t take the time to finish something. In addition, exceptions make it more difficult the next time when someone else wants one. At what point do exceptions become the rule?

At the same time, you don’t want to lose a valued volunteer. Good volunteers are hard to find! One alternative to a flat “No” is that this person can attend the mission trip, but with a different status. As with other adults who are not approved, they can assist with activities, but only when in the company of two approved staff or volunteers.

Starting the process early and asking volunteers to monitor their status can help avoid last-minute worry for everyone!