Compassion & Choices volunteers across the nation not only outnumber staff nearly ten-fold, they fuel the end-of-life choice movement. The new Volunteer Engagement Program unites this rapidly growing community and streamlines the process of organizing the hundreds of active supporters eager to push C&C’s work forward.
The first step for new volunteers is attending a C&C Connections webinar: an overview of Compassion & Choices, the movement and ways to get involved. Volunteers can then advance to Connections Plus for expanded opportunities. Beyond that, advocates have the option to further specialize by continuing through either the advocacy or end-of-life consultation path. More than 50 new volunteers have already participated, and a February 8 New York Times article featuring President Barbara Coombs Lee resulted in 45 inquiries virtually overnight.
“Until now, there hasn’t been a cohesive, national learning process available for all volunteers, wherever they are, as an introduction to C&C and the movement. It’s much more comprehensive than anything we’ve done before and much more accessible – all you need are a phone and a computer,” explains National Volunteer Coordinator Marina Shuman, who runs the webinars as a conversation, not atop-down training. “The kind of people we attract as volunteers are really extraordinary. These are people who have a high level of professional skill, are very involved in their community and very passionate about the movement. As an organization we respect that, so it’s very much a two-way communication.”