This interview is with Laney who was the person in charge of the Store to Door site we visited for Hands on Portland. Store to Door is only one of the many projects that Hands on Portland volunteers can take part in.
Me- are you involved in hands on Portland or are you just involved in store to door?
L- I'm the project leader for hands on Portland and the volunteer coordinator for Store to Door.
Me- oh, ok. Wow.
L- yeah, I do both.
Me- ok, what is the main focus of hands on Portland and what do you generally take care of?
L- I'm taking care of the volunteers that come in and making sure they're trained, to take care of the groceries. And making sure they enjoy themselves cause usually it's a one time opportunity and we want to make sure its as fun for them as possible and they also know that its important that people who are elderly need groceries and that we're just fulfilling a need for them.
Me- so are you involved in other things with hands on Portland besides Store to Door?
L- not really, that's the two of them.
Me- ok, then what do you take care of here at store to door?
L- um...I'm the volunteer coordinator so I coordinate finding volunteers, training volunteers, supervising volunteers.
Me- ok, are there any previous projects you've taken part in?
L- um...yes. I worked with Downspout repairs for elderly clients and one of the projects with hands on Portland was downspouts they disconnected them from the city, so...yeah.
Me- so what kind of activities can volunteers look forward to when they come to help out at either Hands on Portland or store to door?
I- they can either take grocery orders on the phone, or they can grocery shop, or they can deliver. So, usually we stress shopping and taking orders.
Me- what do you generally do? Do you do all three, or...?
L- yes I do. Well actually I'm supervising everyone, so I've done it all.
Me- do you know how Hands on Portland is funded?
L- um, that's not my area of expertise, no, because I'm a store to Door person.
Me- oh so, do you know how store to door is funded?
L- yeah, through private grants and corporate giving.
Me- what is a day in the life of a volunteer like?
L- well they get here at 8:30 in the morning they start grocery shopping and by 11:30 it's done. But um...they're also walking around the store taking everything in. they also can help us if there is an order with something wrong when we're finished shopping they can help us go in there and get the right thing.
Me- ok, how did you get involved in hands on Portland and then store to door?
L- well several my friends were on the board of hands on Portland and they were also working with store to door. So I worked with them and became project leader.
Me- so you had to work your way up?
L- oh, you bet. It was a really tough challenge. No actually on of our team leaders, Tom he got a job, so I had to take over the volunteering for him.
Me- oh, you had too.
L- yeah, how dare he get a real job.
Me- yeah really. Um do you know any history of the program like how it started and what its about?
L- yeah, it started in Minneapolis, Minnesota by a couple there and brought it here to Portland in 1989.
Me- how did they start... wait is this Hands on Portland or store to door?
L- store to door.
Me- yeah I was going to say... Portland - Minnesota?
L- Hands on Portland is through City Cares which is a national organization, and so they came from bigger corporations so I'm not sure about them.
Me- all right, do you think that Hands on Portland and Store to Door are effective, how and why?
L- very much so, because we rely on the volunteers so much to come in and help us shop. I always have a reliable set of people coming in, plus new people by far are always very young and happy and cheerful. It makes a big difference in Store to Door.
Me- what about hands on Portland?
L- in terms of?
Me- is it...
L- oh it's a great program, because they provide us with wonderful volunteers, and they that make sure you know, people are always energetic and we enjoy having them.
Me- do you have any interesting facts or experiences you'd like to share?
L- oh yeah that question. It's always a treat going to see new customers when you are delivering, they're all different. And just in the same way all volunteers are different, as you've seen they're all of different age groups and ethnicities.
Me- yeah you've got sisters and mothers and daughters... it could be like a bonding thing.