(Editor's Note. In lieu of his usual weekly reflection, Fr. Steve Carlsen has asked that the following communication from the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition be shared. FKOC is on the front lines of helping those suffering, not only from the virus itself, but from the devastating economic collapse the pandemic has caused. )
A Call for Volunteers
Florida Keys Outreach Coalition is looking for volunteers to assist staff as it works to get assistance into the hands of those who need it.
FKOC has received funding to purchase gift cards (Publix, Winn-Dixie, Shell, CVS, Walgreens), make online payments for phone and internet (to keep people connected to their support networks and the world during stay-at-home and social distancing), medical expenses, and childcare.
Because FKOC is one of few organizations receiving funding for this type of assistance, it has a higher volume of phone calls and a significant backlog of voicemails that current volunteers are unable to follow-up with in a timely manner. Your help is needed.
(Some of the tasks below can be fulfilled from anywhere in the country, not only in Key West, and most can be fulfilled from your own home.)
FKOC has four urgent volunteer roles. Keep in mind that some involve voice contact with those in need and some are clerical. A volunteer can choose the kind of role that is right for him or her. The roles are:
Speaking directly with applicants and helping them complete their assistance application over the phone. (You can utilize an App to show the call as coming from FKOC to protect the privacy of your own cell phone.)
Listening to voicemails and adding them to a call log for staff and other volunteers. (This is primarily a clerical role, separate from calling back.)
Data entry -- entering data to Excel spreadsheets.
Gift card prep -- (you must live in Ke the West area for this one); filing, addressing envelopes, mailing gift cards.
It takes about 3 hours to train -- two hours completing required DCF training online and 1 hour of training with the FKOC lead for FKOC-specific information. Again, this can be done from anywhere in the country.
If you’d like to learn more, please email Jen Hund at
, to set up a time to chat over the phone.