Blog | September 20, 2008

Farm Aid: It takes a village

Blog post from David Michael: In addition to the wonderful artists who volunteer their time each year, there are a ton of other people who work hard to make sure the show is a success. Anna Miragliuolo, Farm Aid’s Member Services Specialist, is this year’s Volunteer Coordinator making sure there is enough eager assistance ready to go around to all the groups at the show that need it. From Thursday until after the end of the show Saturday night–well, honestly, very early Sunday morning–Anna has over 300 dedicated worker bees all around the venue.

The biggest single task for our volunteers at this year’s show is working with our exciting comprehensive composting program. All throughout the Comcast Center, both out among the crows and even backstage, containers are set up to collect and sort people’s trash into Compost, Recycle or Landfill. Volunteers wait at many of the stations to make sure everyone know what goes in to each container to make sure the program works at peak efficiency. It may seem simple, but I know that I wouldn’t have realized that the utensils being used can be composted instead of recycled! Just one more way Farm Aid is trying to teach and entertain today. Other volunteers will be helping out with media operations, providing press credentials, escorting artists to interviews and setting up chairs for the press event this morning. Each member of the Farm Aid staff has a volunteer paired with them to help out. Some help out backstage operations, some provide support to sponsors, and just about anything else you can think of. And they do it all with a smile.

Where do we get so many people to help out? The largest group come to us from City Year’s youth service corps. There are always some really nice Teamsters around to drive the vans that get us back and forth between the venue, the airport, and hotels. Others come from local groups that want to support the cause. A good sized group–including myself–have family or friends who work with Farm Aid year round and come along to help out during the busy show time. There are even volunteers who join us through a local group when the show is in their town who then return year after year wherever the show may be. We’ve got some volunteers who have been coming back for over 20 years!

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