by Krishna Bright
What does it mean to volunteer with Many Mouths One Stomach? Who can volunteer? How many volunteers are needed? These are significant questions you might ask when deciding to offer your support for MMOS and All Souls Procession. Being the Volunteer Buckstopper for the All Souls Procession Weekend, I am able to see several benefits of volunteering for this awesome organization and event.
Volunteering for Many Mouths One Stomach, or specifically, the events of All Souls Procession Weekend, offers many opportunities to become part of a community, experience the cultural diversity within that community, and to meet new people. Over the past few years, as my position on the Board of MMOS has grown and I’ve taken on the Volunteer Buckstopper position, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to interact with hundreds of potential and existing volunteers. It’s been a great experience to communicate with each person as they approach me with the wonder, enthusiasm and joy that comes of getting involved in such a festal event. Volunteer participation sparks something deep within each individual, inspiring many to become more and more involved each year and to invite their friends to become involved by volunteering also. Every year our volunteer base grows in an ongoing process of strong community-building, contributing to real festal culture.
As is typical for most non-profit organizations, MMOS can always use more volunteers. Though more people are signing up to help out each year, as the event grows, so too does the demand for even more help. Some might think that all the positions are covered because, in general, the Procession is often a huge success. The truth of the matter is that in every event season there have only been a small number of volunteers working behind the scenes to ensure that success. These volunteers are often overworked and stressed, many of them handling multiple responsibilities integral to making the Procession Weekend happen. MMOS has been very lucky to have some dedicated volunteers step up in the last two years to oversee important areas of production, and many others selflessly giving their assistance wherever needed. Without the infrastructure created by the invaluable support of these people, the Procession Weekend simply couldn’t be what it is today.
What should readers know about volunteering for MMOS and the All Souls Procession Weekend? Anyone can volunteer! And that includes children, too, though there are some limitations based on a task/age requirement due to safety or other considerations (kids would be most welcome helping with the Procession of the Little Angels). Because the ASP Weekend is all about the festal culture mission to explore and express universal human needs, we welcome people from any cultural background, age, sex or orientation to come join us and help make this amazing event even more amazing still. The most important qualification to volunteer is the spirit and enthusiasm to contribute and be part of something great. No one person needs to have special skills or experience. Everyone has something to give.
As people become more interested in the Procession Weekend and MMOS and offer up their time, joy, and energy, these volunteers are setting precedence for future community members. Setting an example of creativity, collaboration, community involvement, and joy from giving of themselves in the service of the All Souls Procession, all of these experiences as a volunteer can influence others to want to get involved. As the name Many Mouths One Stomach suggests, volunteers let others know by word-of-mouth how exciting and rewarding it is to become involved with the Procession Weekend and with MMOS.
Ways to sign up to volunteer: go to the website http://www.allsoulsprocession.org/ and scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Get Involved.” There are many options available, and many levels of involvement. Email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your support is greatly appreciated by all!