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Darren's Digest – March 2022

Welcome to the month of March.

March 14, 2022


March is known for the transition to spring and warmer weather. With the spring season that also means there will be many opportunities for you to volunteer. At the March RCMG Monthly meeting we will be providing an overview of SignUp Genius at 6pm. The training will cover searching for volunteer opportunities, signing up to volunteer as well as the process for finding a replacement, if needed.


SignUp Genius

We encourage you to watch for invitations from SignUp Genius for volunteer opportunities this spring. When events are coming up, emails will be sent to all participating volunteers on Monday evenings or Saturday mornings. We do this to make signing up for opportunities as equitable to as many people as we can. We do not send SignUp invites to volunteers with a Leave of Absence or Emeritus-Retired status.


Whitelist SignUp Genius

Please consider adding SignUp Genius as a contact for the email account that you use as a volunteer. Use the email address info@signupgenius.com. When you "whitelist" this email address by making it a contact in your address book, your email provider – Gmail, Yahoo, Comcast, or others – will not block or mark these messages as Spam/Junk. If you ever feel like


Committing to Volunteer

As a reminder, when you sign up to volunteer or attend an event, it is extremely important that you follow-through for any commitment you've agreed to do. There are other volunteers and community partners who are counting on you to be there. Check your personal calendar before your sign up for any activities. Don't worry – there will be plenty of things to do!


We realize that things come up but real emergencies should really be the only reason you are unable to participant in a volunteer commitment. If you're unable to attend a commitment that you've signed up for, we expect you to attempt to find a substitute . Below are some strategies.


6 Strategies for Finding a Substitute

If you have an emergency situation that prevents you from attending an activity that you signed-up for, don't delete your name from the SignUp Genius page. Please attempt to find a substitute. SignUp Genius offers you tools to identify the other people who are volunteering and ask for help; you can also reach out to other volunteers using the contact information from the RCMG Directory.

  1. If there is more than one day before the event project, try using the SWAP button on SignUp Genius. You choose an alternative day and time and check the box next to the person's name that you could swap with. SignUp Genius will email those people and will also email you when someone swaps with you.

  2. If you are an intern, contact your mentor; they can give you suggestions.

  3. If you are volunteering with another person at the event, contact the other volunteers sharing the event/shift with you to ask if they know of someone that you could call and ask to help.

  4. Check the SignUp page to see who else has signed for the project site and contact other volunteers directly (we recommend that you call them) on that SignUp list

  5. Contact the project coordinator listed for the SignUp page if you are unable to find a substitute using the tools above

  6. Call the program coordinator


COVID-19 Safety Update

With the easing of some Covid-19 restrictions we will be returning to more face-to-face volunteering. The main page of the State Master Gardener website (z.umn.edu/mgweb) has some good information and updates on Covid-19 as well as low-contact, work-from-home volunteer opportunities.


Thank you for all that you do and Happy Spring!


Darren Lochner

RCMG Program Coordinator


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