For the Love of Volunteers: Part 1

This is the first part of a two-part series on how volunteers help LBC thrive – and vice versa. Part one tells you why we love our volunteers. Part two tells why they love us – and how you can too.

One month after the 2017 Tubbs fire shocked our community, LBC ardently returned to home base – some of it destroyed – to reopen its theater and made a “Pay What You Can” program available to people struggling in the aftermath. Some of the first people to arrive on the scene to welcome and embrace their neighbors were many of LBC’s 300 volunteers, several of whom had been affected by the fires and needed that embrace as much as anyone else. When LBC started calling back its volunteers after more than a year of Covid-canceled live programming, nearly 60 volunteers showed up with masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, social distancing, and all, to pick up where they left off.

LBC could not have rebounded from these life-changing events without volunteers who share our mission and who do good because it feels good. Even in ordinary times, we can’t succeed without them.  As a philanthropic enterprise managing an $11 million operating budget, our performance center can’t support the volume of staff required to present 100 large-scale shows a year, especially after artist and production fees as well as our charitable program allocations. We need volunteers to fill the hundreds of tasks that Betsy Boes, Volunteer and Front-of-House Manager at LBC, says “can make or break a patron’s experience.”

Boes credits the character and personal qualities of our volunteers for the very cheerfulness that they enjoy so much about the job. “Our volunteers interface with guests far more often than our staff does,” said Betsy. “We look for real people people,” she said. “When we appoint volunteers, they need to be generally friendly, enjoy serving the needs of others, and at ease with controlled chaos, if necessary.”

Each LBC performance requires a minimum of 35 volunteers, each working a 4-hour shift, to deliver an exceptional experience to our patrons. Volunteers work as ushers throughout performances, scanning tickets, answering questions, and directing and escorting guests – all while implementing our health and safety policies. They answer questions and offer help from the concierge desk, manage water stations, and provide service at club gatherings. During school programs, volunteers help herd children in the lobby and help teachers stay organized. The students enjoy interacting with the adults in black vests and white shirts who seem to have as much fun as the kids do.

Look for part two of For the Love of Volunteers: Right Back Atcha! in our March issue to learn how the LBC is a focal point in the lives of our volunteers, who find friendship, support, and purpose in their service.

Owned and operated by the Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Tax ID #94-2581084). | Designed by Schipper Design | Built & Maintained by Inbound Design
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