Of all the volunteer activities in which I have thus far participated, my favorite is tabling at the Farmer’s Market at Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver. Political organizations are not allowed within the boundaries of the market itself, but they may situate themselves within the “free speech zone” on either side of the sidewalk leading up to the market’s entrance. It is here that the other candidates station canvassers and plant signs, and activist organizations post volunteers to garner signatures for petitions. Carolyn Long’s campaign sets up a table under a shade canopy equipped with buttons, pamphlets, and volunteer sign-up sheets, and I mull up and down the sidewalk near the table offering informative pamphlets to park-goers and making small talk about ground-breaking topics like their adorable dogs or college alumnus attire.
It turns out you don’t have to have a spiel or strategy. A successful volunteer is both a passionate and a candid one. Words said in earnest will always mean more than practiced phrases scripted and polished.
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