September 17, 2012
When Women of Faith rolls into town tractor trailers pull up to the arena with the parts and pieces needed to create the stage, stock the booths on the concourse, and prepare the space for the event. Meanwhile, staff members fly in from all directions to unload, organize, and set up . . . but it’s much too big a job for them to handle alone. Enter our volunteers. It takes more than 200 local area volunteers to pull off a Women of Faith arena event and we couldn’t do it without them. Many sign up year after year; they enjoy being part of the event and often, as volunteer Denise W. said, look on their experience “as a ministry.” The Distribution Team shows up on Friday morning to tackle the physically-demanding work of moving boxes filled with program bags throughout the arena and placing program bags on each seat in the arena. Like all our volunteers, Distribution Team members receive complimentary event registrations. In Oklahoma City we met Keith W., a ten-year repeat volunteer who works this team alongside his wife Regina so she can bring friends to Women of Faith at no charge. (That’s a new twist on date night!) Leta E., another returning volunteer, enlisted a friend this year so they could earn a free Women of Faith registration for another friend’s birthday. Later that afternoon the Product Sales Team arrives. They’re quickly deployed to various booths, where a staffer provides information and training before setting the team to work organizing displays and preparing for an onslaught of customers once the doors open. At the same time, the Usher Team reports for duty to receive their marching orders—though “standing” orders is more often the case; you’ll frequently see volunteers ushers posted in doorways to help women find their seats. Both Product and Usher Team members are released from their duties while the program is going on. The final group is our Arena Team. Tasked with variety of duties such as crowd control, helping distribute box lunches, and general assistance while the event is in session, the Arena Team helps make the overall event run smoothly and with limited distractions. As they’re hard at work during the program, this team receives free registrations they can gift to family or friends. Volunteers work together, pray together, and often sit together during the program. Friendships are created, relationships strengthened, and life is shared. No wonder many volunteers enjoy their experience so much they come back year after year! For information about volunteering at Women of Faith, choose your event here and look for the “Volunteer” section.