VAN Spotlight: Alice Fong, United Way of King County

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Alice Fong, Volunteer Initiatives Manager, UWKC

Describe the mission, programs and services of your organization:

United Way of King County brings caring people together to give, volunteer and take action to help people in need and solve our community’s toughest challenges.  In almost every neighborhood in King County, you’ll find examples of causes and organizations that United Way of King County supports.  For example, resources to support early learning, ending homelessness, and giving every child an equal chance to succeed.

How does your organization engage volunteers?

Our volunteers serve at the board level, serve on impact councils/advisory committees, and provide direct services.

How did you come into the field of volunteer engagement?

It started early in my career by working within large systems that valued and promoted the volunteer engagement culture.  During a personal volunteer gig, I asked the staff person what she did and after she explained her volunteer manager role, I thought it was a cool job!  Maybe a couple years later, I landed the role at Jubilee REACH.

What are some of the successes and challenges you have had engaging volunteers?

I love involving the community to resolve our challenges – especially engaging youth volunteers which due to opportunities and liabilities, has had restrictions.  I am very interested in engagement and have created communication tools, opportunities for volunteers to engage with each other and promoting the need for volunteer recognition and appreciation!

If you could change one thing about the world, what would you change and why?

In the volunteer world, the myth that volunteers are free!  On a global scale, I’d promote a culture of caring actions done to others.

What is the most interesting item in your closet?

My collection of reusable gift wrap materials.

 

Please join Alice for next Wednesday’s Professional Gathering, “Tough Conversations“, at United Way of King County!

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