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information for sale volunteers & helpers

THANK YOU to everyone who's planning to help at the Peace Sale! We absolutely rely on all of you and we're so grateful to you all for your time and assistance.

We want you to feel informed and confident about what's going on, and what your role is. Everything you need to know is (hopefully) below; use the quick links at the top of the page to go to the sections that are relevant to you. And PLEASE get in touch with anyone on the Sale planning team (Roxie, Michael K, Meredith, Kathryn) at any time if you have a question.

Building layout and activity locations

Activity leaders and co-leaders

Volunteer sign-up

Parking

Where to leave your bags, etc

Set-up and pack-up information

Food

Volunteer role - Bakery

Volunteer role - Craft Market

Volunteer role - Ten Thousand Villages

Volunteer role - Black Sea Bazaar

Volunteer role - Greeter

Volunteer role - Cashier

Volunteer role - Auction

Volunteer role - Fair Trade Cafe

Volunteer role - Kids' Craft Activity

Volunteer role - Runner

Volunteer role - Parking Attendant

Celebrating afterwards!

Building layout and activity locations

 

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Activity leaders and co-leaders

Craft Market: Margaret Gehman; Jane McNair
Bakery: Clarke Ohlendorf; Kate Cross
Auction: Roxie Voran
Ten Thousand Villages: Lauren Hall
Black Sea Bazaar: Michael & Meredith Konderla
Tamales: Aurora Parchmont
Fair Trade tea & coffee: Lauren Mascioli, Alan Heise
Cookies: Linda Washburn
My Coins Count: Roxie or Kathryn
Cashiers: Emily Voran
Anything else: Peace Sale Planning Team (Roxie Voran, Michael Konderla, Meredith Konderla, Kathryn Bauchelle)

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Parking

Please park offsite on the day of the Sale if it's possible for you to do so. Our friends at Terrace Methodist, directly to the south, have kindly given permission for us to park in their lot, or you can find street parking on the other side of Wirt. Please leave the HMC parking lot for guests as much as possible.

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Where to leave your bags, etc

As we did last year, the Library in the south-east corner of the building will be reserved for volunteers and helpers. This will be the place to store your bags, and the place to go if you need a break or some peace and quiet.

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Set-up and pack-up information
We'll be onsite from noon on Friday, November 8, doing set-up and general sprucing, and you'd be welcome for indoor or outdoor tasks. You'll find the building open from around 9 am on Saturday, November 9, though we remind you that doors officially open to the public at noon, so we ask anyone arriving early to be ready to help set up, and wait until 12pm to start your shopping.

In addition to general maintenance, cleaning, and light yard work, we'll approach our set-up as follows:

Part 1: Remove items that will not be used during the Sale from all rooms. Store in Pastor's Office, or elsewhere.

Part 2: Move items internally that will be used elsewhere than their usual places.

Part 3: Get items out of storage (stage, tables, banners, etc) and set up.

Part 4: Add final touches such as tablecloths, signage, etc.

Part 5: Lay out goods for sale.

Our pack up process will be largely the same as the above, just in reverse! We hope that pack-up will be done in a couple of hours, or less. The more hands we have, the easier it will be.

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Food

As last year, the lunch will be by donation. The menu consists of tamales, with a vegetarian option included. There will be tables indoors and outdoors (weather permitting) and we encourage you to be conscious of how much seating is available for guests, and how many of our Mennonite hosts are seated, at any given time. Seating will be at a premium at busy times and we encourage you to make sure our guests are comfortable.

We are running our own Fair Trade Cafe this year, with hot and iced coffee, a selection of tea, and cookies. The Fair Trade Cafe will have a cash box, or people can pay by credit card by completing a tally slip and paying the cashiers.

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Volunteer role - Bakery

Co-leads: Clarke Ohlendorf, Kate Cross

Location: Children's Sunday School Room

Main tasks: Assist guests with purchases; complete payment tabs; direct guests to cashiers; answer questions

Provided in room: Calculators, pens, shopping bags

There is no cashier in the Bakery. As guests complete their purchases, fill out a payment tab for them showing all items. Add the value of the items, and write the total at the bottom of the tab. Confirm total with guest. Put all items in shopping bags. Direct guests to the cashiers, located just to the right of the Bakery in the hallway, or by the main entrance. Reassure guests that they can continue shopping and then cash out all at once.

Runners will come by periodically and check in with you. They will fetch and carry and help with anything you need so that you don't need to leave the room. 

"Overstock" of baked items will be on shelving in the Library. You will need to replenish as items are sold. Check in with the Bakery co-leads - Clarke Ohlendorf and Kate Cross - about their systems for this.

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Volunteer role - Craft Market

Co-leads: Margaret Gehman, Jane McNair

Location: Children's Room

Main tasks: Assist guests with purchases; complete payment tabs; direct guests to cashiers; answer questions

Provided in room: Calculators, pens, shopping bags

There is no cashier in the Craft Market. As guests complete their purchases, fill out a payment tab for them showing all items. Add the value of the items, and write the total at the bottom of the tab. Confirm total with guest. Put all items in shopping bags. Direct guests to the cashiers, located in the hallway near the south entrance, or by the main entrance. Reassure guests that they can continue shopping and then cash out all at once.

Runners will come by periodically and check in with you. They will fetch and carry and help with anything you need so that you don't need to leave the room. 

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Volunteer role - Ten Thousand Villages

Lead: Lauren Hall

Location: Conference Room

Main tasks: Assist guests with purchases; complete payment; answer questions

Provided in room: Calculators, pens, shopping bags, cash box, Square (for credit card payments)

Ten Thousand Villages has its own cashier, as the items are on consignment. Guests who have been shopping elsewhere may expect to be able to add items to their tab, so you may need to explain the above. 

 

Put all items in shopping bags. Complete payment using cash box or Square. Square training can be provided by Lauren Hall. Lauren's phone will be used for the Square connection.

Runners will come by periodically and check in with you. They will fetch and carry and help with anything you need so that you don't need to leave the room. 

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Volunteer role - Black Sea Bazaar

Co-leads: Michael & Meredith Konderla

Location: Nursery

Main tasks: Assist guests with purchases; complete payment tabs; direct guests to cashiers; answer questions

Provided in room: Calculators, pens, shopping bags

There is no cashier in the Black Sea Bazaar. As guests complete their purchases, fill out a payment tab for them showing all items. Add the value of the items, and write the total at the bottom of the tab. Confirm total with guest. Put all items in shopping bags. Direct guests to the cashiers, located in the hallway near the south entrance, or by the main entrance. Reassure guests that they can continue shopping and then cash out all at once.

Runners will come by periodically and check in with you. They will fetch and carry and help with anything you need so that you don't need to leave the room. 

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Volunteer role - Greeter

Lead: Sale Planning Team

Location: Main entrance

Welcome every guest with a smile! Hand them a Welcome flyer (title: "Welcome! Don't miss anything today") and give them a brief explanation, for example:

"This flyer shows the different things we have for sale today. Look for signs around the building to find each room. The quilts are on display now and the auction will start at 1:30pm. If you need to register as a new bidder in the auction I recommend you do it now! Restrooms are around the corner, just here. When you've made your purchases, you can come right back here to check out, here at the cashier table. Enjoy the Sale!"

Please feel free to vary the above and add in details, for example about lunch, or leave things out, for example for guests arriving after the auction. The above is an example but we want you to be you :)

If anyone has questions about Houston Mennonite Church, direct them to the large bulletin boards in the common space, on the wall outside the bathrooms, and/or hand them a general information flyer from the holder on the cashier table.

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Volunteer role - Cashier

Lead: Emily Voran

Location: Main entrance (main cashier) or hallway (south cashier)

Main tasks: Calculate grand total; take payment in cash or by card; invite people to join mailing list; thank guests for coming

Provided: Calculators, pens, Squares, phone (at main cashier), blank mailing list sign-ups

Guests will collect tally slips from the various rooms they have shopped in. Tally slips will all have the name of the room at the top, and should have a total on each one. Add all the totals together (if guest has multiple slips) and ask if they would like to pay by card or by cash. Use Square to process card payments; make change from cash box for cash payments. Square training can be provided by Emily Voran. One phone will be used all day at the main cashier for the Square connection; you may be asked to use your phone as a supplementary device.

Please keep ALL payment tabs that come to the cashier table, so we can reconcile our accounts after the event.

 

Thank each guest for coming! Ask if they would like to join our mailing list and let them know that anyone on our list will be in the running to win a hand-crocheted owl toy (see signage). If the person says they think they're on the list, or says that their info may have changed, encourage them to sign up again so we can check/correct their entry on our mailing list. Blank mailing list sign-up forms will be on each cashier table, and elsewhere as we have space.

Runners will come by periodically and check in with you. They will fetch and carry and help with anything you need so that you don't need to leave the table. 

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Volunteer role - Auction

Lead: Roxie Voran

Location: Sanctuary

Main tasks: Assemble quilt display ahead of Sale opening; answer questions during viewing period; bring quilts and other items to the front during auction; put quilts in bags after purchase; disassemble racks and other equipment after auction is complete

Assembly should be completed on Friday evening or Saturday morning. During the auction, it's great if the next item can be brought to the front as quickly as possible so that there is no lag. If you're on the pulleys operating the quilt display apparatus, practice with your partner first! You need to pull together for this to work smoothly.

Disassembly can take place immediately after the auction is complete and doesn't need to wait for the close of the Sale. Close Sanctuary doors when auction is over.

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Volunteer role - Fair Trade Cafe

Co-leads: Lauren Mascioli, Alan Heise

Location: Common Space, in front of art

Main tasks: Assist guests with purchases; replenish supplies (mainly water) as needed; serve food and drinks; make payment via cash or tab

Provided: Calculator, pens, cash box, tea, coffee, other supplies (sugar, milk, etc), shopping bags

Guests are encouraged to pay with cash at the Fair Trade Cafe. If they wish to, they can complete a tab in order to pay with a card at either cashier table (main entrance or hallway). Only people serving coffee should take cash payments, as they do not need to wear gloves. Person serving cookies should wear gloves and use tongs to serve food items, and should not take money or make change.

We will offer a variety of hot and cold coffee, along with tea. We will use reusable mugs and plates for all items. The bussing station will be in its normal place in the Common Space, with an extra tub at the Cafe. Runners will come by to take dirty items and replenish with clean (though if it's quiet, your help with this would be appreciated!)

A small selection of packaged Fair Trade coffee and tea will also be available for sale at the Fair Trade Cafe.

Runners will come by periodically and check in with you. They will fetch and carry and help with anything you need so that you don't need to leave the space.  If you run low on reusable mugs or plates, please let a runner know so we can replenish, or speed up the washing process, or move temporarily to our emergency supply of disposable items.

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Volunteer role - Kids' Craft Activity

Lead: Lauren Hall

Location: Common Space, in front of the Fair Trade store (which will be closed)

Main tasks: Help kids with craft activity

Provided: All equipment and supplies you'll need

When you arrive for your volunteer shift, the person before you will show you how to complete the craft. As kids come by your table, help them with supplies and assistance to complete the activity. 

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Volunteer role - Runner

Lead: Kathryn Bauchelle

Location: Everywhere!

This role requires you to be on the move. Move throughout the building, checking in with the volunteers in each room and at each activity. Fetch what they need; clean up any spills; generally help replenish and keep things running. Check the bathrooms periodically and replenish paper products from the kitchen cabinets. Clean in bathrooms as necessary. Buss items from the bussing area and from the Fair Trade Cafe. Start and empty dishwashers as needed and replenish plates, cups, mugs etc in kitchen and at Fair Trade Cafe. Empty trash cans and replace with new trash can liners. Check outside from time to time.

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Volunteer role - Parking Attendant

Leads: Sale Planning Team

Location: Parking lot

Main tasks: Be aware of empty spaces; direct new arrivals to empty spots; hold up traffic if people are reversing out of spaces; welcome guests; point out main entrance; farewell guests and thank them for coming

Provided: High-vis vests

Our parking lot was never completely full in 2018, so we're cautiously confident that the same will be true this year, but it can still get busy at peak times. You will need to walk around a lot when things are busy, looking for empty spaces and ready to direct newcomers to them. 

As people get out of their vehicles, point out the main entrance. Smile and thank them for coming! As people leave, thank them for attending the Sale and be aware of traffic as they reverse out of spaces. Let them know they can leave the lot from either end (north or south).

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Celebrating afterwards!

We hope you're planning to join us to celebrate on Sunday, November 10. Houston Mennonite's Sunday service begins at 10am and we hope to see you with us. As is our tradition, we'll join together in song on our annual Songfest Sunday, so get ready to request your favorites. And after the service is over, you're invited to join us at Cottonwood, where we'll eat together. Cottonwood is a relaxed and family-friendly restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating - find it on Google maps here.

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Do you have further questions? We're standing by to help. Email the planning team with any question whatsoever, and we'll do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.

Many, MANY thanks for your support, whether it's in person or in spirit. Our 30th Sale is going to be amazing and it will be because of you. Thank you!

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Houston Mennonite Church | 1231 Wirt, Houston, TX 77055 | 281-783-9070