I love rally, how can I help?
Often people want to help, but don't know what to do. Rallies, their organization and structure, seem vast in scope and complicated in how they operate, and sometimes it's hard to imagine how YOU could help. Well, good news, you can! :)
Before the rally
- Help you can do from anywhere in the world.
- One of the biggest tasks facing an organizer is finding volunteers. This is the area where you can have the biggest impact. And the amazing part is that you can be just as effective as the organizer in helping. The secret is that many volunteers find out about the event from forums, and you can post in a forum just as well as anyone else. Here's some detail on what to include for a great forum post:
- Include the date and city, state in the thread title.
- Include the date/location in the post, too!
- Include a link to the event web site in the post.
- Include the NRS logo in the post.
- Include a link to general volunteering info in your post: http://www.nasarallysport.com/main/volunteering
- Include a link to the volunteer log in: http://www.nasarallysport.com/nrsdb
- Go to the event web site, and include the graphics of the event in your post
- Tell them how they'll get to meet and party with the racers.
- Tell them how it's a fun woodsy adventure where they get close to the action.
- Use lots of smiley faces and exclamation points. :)
- NOW EDIT YOUR POST AND DOUBLE YOUR EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!! *grin*
NRS has a system where you can track which forums you post about each event. Log in to your account, add your post, and that helps other folks jump on the bandwagon. Be sure to come back to your post, bumping it with information about who's on the entry list, how close the rally is. Engage the other people and answer their questions. Get people excited!
- Write a press release related to the event. It could be about what you're doing to get ready, or if you're not racing, about a friend of yours that is racing. NRS has a press release editing system inside your user account that will help you get it edited and looked over by other people and give you advice on what to say.
- Volunteer to do the pointskeeping for a series.
- Edit a video for the rally. You don't need a video footage archive. Find some existing video and in-car (and get permission to use it) and put together a montage, along with the graphics of the event and sanctioning body, and get the date, city and state name, and web site info in the video.
- Make a PDF of a poster for the event. Usually in the 8.5x11 size, so anyone can print them. They can be as simple as this template, or you can go nuts, add in the event logo from the web site, the NRS logo (from the Event Resources page), spend some time in Photoshop and really shine!
- Get your ham radio license. It's a little bit of studying and the test only costs around fifteen dollars. As a racer or a volunteer, this will make you that much more valuable to the rally when you get there.
- Help at the site of the organizer's home base.
If you happen to live near the organizer there is plenty of things that need to be physically accomplished. It's not rocket science, it just takes time.
- Inventorying boxes of registration supplies.
- Cleaning stage signs.
- Painting new marking stakes.
- Building new caution arrows.
- Hardware store trips to replace various supplies, like the trash bags issued to stage captains, or the spare AA batteries for the radios. There are a lots of lists that need to be checked off.
- And more, these are just example.
During the rally
- On-site help during the rally.
- Helping on site is what we generally call 'volunteering' and we have a whole page dedicated to the things you can do if you aren't racing and are coming to the event. In this context, we're saying 'helping' is all the other stuff you can do to help, and 'volunteering' is helping on site at the event.
- But if you are racing, there's still many ways you can help!
- find a way to let volunteers crash at your place. A free couch or even floor spot can be a big deal in getting some folks there to help out.
- Help with registering volunteers.
- Teach the novice school.
- Arrive a few hours early, and help unload all the registration and stage supplies.
- Walk up and down Main Street and deliver some flyers to the local shops.
- Assemble and display some large banners.
- Off-site help during the rally, from people who aren't at the event.
This is less of an autonomous, self directed task, you'll need to communicate with the organizer for this one. Some rallies do off-site scoring, where you answer a phone call from the stages and enter the scoring data into a web page, and that's very helpful!