By Ari Rosner
Hollywood Farmers Market community volunteer coordinator
“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” – Unknown
Interested in volunteering at the Hollywood Farmers Market this season? Then attend the volunteer orientation on Saturday, April 26 at 10 a.m. at the Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, 1907 N.E. 45th Ave. (meet at the office door on Northeast Sandy Boulevard). Volunteer roles will be explained, along with changes to the 2014 season. Information about the Market will be presented, and a short rehearsal of Market setup and breakdown will be conducted.
The Hollywood Farmers Market wouldn’t be possible without the help of its volunteers. Every Saturday it takes 20 to 25 volunteers to keep the Market running smoothly. A few early-riser volunteers show up at 7 a.m. to set up the Market’s equipment (canopies, umbrellas, tables, chairs and signage) before customers begin arriving. When the Market is open, volunteers answer customer questions, pass out fliers about upcoming Market events, step in for vendors so they can take breaks, conduct crowd counts and complete anything else that comes up during the course of a busy day. After the Market closes, volunteers take the equipment down and return it to storage.
Volunteers enable the Market to function and they make it fun.
Farmers markets are inherently social places. According to a Project for Public Spaces study, a customer experiences an average of 15-20 social interactions at a farmers market, versus 1-2 at a grocery store. And for volunteers, that number is much higher. Even for the setup and breakdown volunteers, who mainly interact with each other, the camaraderie and sense of shared purpose is strong.
On Saturday mornings, the mood at the information booth, which is the home base for Market volunteers, is warm and inviting. New volunteers are welcomed heartily and quickly absorbed into the community. Returning volunteers are greeted as old friends. Some of the volunteers have known Market staff for years, and every Saturday the Market is something they share with each other and with the neighborhood.
Anyone interested in learning more about volunteering but who can’t make it to the orientation is asked to contact Ari Rosner at (503) 803-7279 or volunteers@
The Hollywood Farmers Market is located on Northeast Hancock Street between 44th and 45th avenues, one block south of Sandy Boulevard. It is open every Saturday from May through Thanksgiving and the first and third Saturdays from December through April. Market hours are 8 a.m.-1 p.m. from May to October and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. from November to April. Dogs are welcome in the market after 10 a.m. For more information, visit hollywoodfarmersmarket.org.