Volunteers Make it Happen

From an early age I felt a pull towards community service; over the years I have dedicated many hours towards various volunteer projects.  I’ve had the privilege of devoting my free time to a variety of organizations and gained important insight into the inner workings of a non-profit.  

Last year I found myself accepting the City Director position of The Cupcake Girls Portland and found myself reflecting upon the lessons I’ve taken with me through the years.  Through this role, I was handed a immense responsibility and needed to make difficult decisions.  How did I want to fulfill this position?  What are my priorities as City Director?  How do I want this organization to function?  I still struggle with these questions, however, what rings clear each day is maintaining our high level of volunteer support.  

This organization makes it a priority to respect and value each volunteer and his or her time, after all, they are the lifeblood of this organization.  Each individual involved with The Cupcake Girls is encouraged to establish healthy boundaries and while we appreciate any time a volunteer is willing to give, we emphasize that a work-life balance is extremely important.  

We check in with volunteers to determine if they are feeling overwhelmed by their designated positions, and to prevent this from occurring, we offer open office hours from 7:00- 9:00 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.  This provides volunteers a chance to speak with leadership about any questions or concerns and to make sure their needs are met by this organization.  If an individual feels stressed and/or unhappy with his or her position, we work in tandem in order to find a better fit within this non-profit.  If a volunteer needs to take a step back from working with The Cupcake Girls due to a life change or hectic work schedule, he or she is free to do so and will be welcomed back anytime.  


At my first volunteer orientation, The Cupcake Girls’ founder Joy Hoover said something that really caught my attention, “We will never ask you to do something as volunteers that we wouldn’t do ourselves as staff members.”  Overtime it became very apparent that Joy didn’t simply say those words, she meant them.  Staff members fulfill roles that any volunteer may do, whether it’s taking out trash, washing dishes, setting up and taking down for an event, attending orientations and the list goes on.  

This mentality of protecting the boundaries of volunteers made me not only respect the staff of The Cupcake Girls, it made me more passionate about joining this organization in the first place. The culture of The Cupcake Girls and the work that is done for the community have kept me in this fantastic non-profit for the last 3 years, and it will keep me here until Joy makes me leave.

If you’d like to join our team please email us at pdxinfo@thecupcakegirls.org

Peace, Love & Cupcakes,