Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today’s post is with Amy Lowell, who volunteers as a co-chair and premiums specialist for our Development & Membership committee.
How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?
I am the co-chair of the Development and Membership committee as well as the Premiums Specialist. As a member of the Development and Membership committee, I help conduct the fundraisers that pay for all of the things that make the OTW and its projects run. As premiums specialist, I am responsible for ordering, maintaining, and shipping all donor thank-you gifts. I also help coordinate giveaways and display items for conventions where OTW has a presence.
What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?
I don’t have typical weeks, since what I do varies so much by the time of the year. Outside of the drives, I usually will answer donor questions, send out thank-you gifts to donors, plan and prepare for upcoming drives, and look for new items and vendors for new thank-you gifts.
During the drive, our committee is constantly monitoring incoming donations and answering questions, and I am also monitoring thank-you gift requests so that I can get ahead of items that need to be reordered to fulfill donor requests. Then after the drive I work to get all of the thank-you gifts out to the donors. Luckily, I have an amazing shipper in Europe who handles shipping to that area, but we can have 4,000+ thank-you gifts that need to be packed, labeled, and shipped, so in the weeks after the drive I pretty much do nothing else.
What made you decide to volunteer?
Way back when, I was a vidder who had many videos purged, so when I heard about OTW’s preservation work, I was intrigued and started to look into the organization. Learning that it was an ALL volunteer organization made up of people who just really cared, not people getting paid, I decided to volunteer.
What has been your biggest challenge doing work for the OTW?
Time zones. Having an organization whose members span around the world makes for some unconventional meeting times. Other than that, probably just fitting in my paying job and family during those weeks surrounding the drive when there is so much work to get done in a short amount of time.
What fannish things do you like to do?
I read a lot, but mostly my whole family is pretty much a bunch of fandom nerds, and I do a lot of fandom-related crafting. We have several Christmas trees dedicated to different fandoms. I make a lot of cosplay costumes; many fandom inspired blankets, amigurumi, and accessories; and most recently made my youngest son’s furniture look like Minecraft items.
Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in the comments. Or if you’d like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.