Volunteer Voices: "Conversations with voters are a piece of cake"
Hi there! I'm Jess, and this is my story about volunteering with Sierra Club Independent Action. The key takeaway: making calls with this crew is an incredibly meaningful experience and a crucial way to build the future we need. So read on, and join the team.
I’ve never considered myself much of an activist. I’m far from quiet, but I always thought the most impactful thing I could do was have conversations with friends and family expressing my stance while they expressed theirs. But after the 2016 election, I knew that environmental issues and human rights were on the chopping block; I had to do something -- anything -- to help. I attended protests in Indianapolis, signed up for small monthly donations to various organizations, and became more active in the queer community, even starting a podcast focused on the art of drag. Of course, I kept talking (admittedly, sometimes arguing) with friends and family about what was happening in our towns, our state, our country. But I was starved for more, something that progressed our nation instead of setting us back decades, something that reached farther than I knew how to. Then I answered a phone call from Sierra Club Independent Action and was asked to volunteer doing the same thing the person on the line was doing -- encourage others to help. Finally, I had the opportunity I was looking for; I signed up, and I’m so thankful I did.
Since 2016, I’ve participated in several phonebanks with Sierra Club Independent Action. Having some experience with telemarketing (albeit from twenty years ago), I knew that I had the temperament to withstand a few tirades over the line. To my delight, Sierra Club Independent Action has only ever asked me to call people likely to listen as we ask them to vote, to write, to call, or simply to care. That isn’t to say that I’ve never heard a rude word, but take it from a former telemarketer -- phone banking with this group is a piece of cake. Not only were the call lists well-managed, but the friendly staff also crafted sweet and simple training sessions filling me with confidence out of the gate. The icing on this delicious cake was certainly the convenience of doing it all from home when events fit my schedule, and never feeling guilty if something came up last-minute so that I needed to leave early.
We're building the future we need, together, one phone call at a time.
Every time I get a “Yes” on the phone, I get to celebrate a small victory. Today, more than ever, we need things -- even tiny things -- to bolster our spirits and continue to fight the good fight. With Sierra Club Independent Action, not only do I get to celebrate these little triumphs, but I am cheered on by others, who in turn I have the pleasure of applauding.
Sometimes, we may feel like we’re the only ones in our home, our county, or even our entire state that sees the danger of the path others are cutting literally into our beautiful wilderness, or figuratively into our lives, our bodies -- even our love. But with these fellow volunteers, dedicated staff, and even the voices on the other end of the phone, I know I’m not alone. We are not alone.
We are many, and we are fighting for concrete actions to make this country a better place both today and tomorrow.