HelpBerkeley: COVID-19

Rosie volunteer dispatcher

I’d like to volunteer as a dispatcher. If deliveries can be done by bike I would also do that (I don’t currently have a bike trailer but would be happy to do the legwork of finding one on freecycle or similar).

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hello @Rosie , welcome and thanks so much for volunteering with HelpBerkeley.org!

Our dispatchers have made you a dispatcher, so now you can access dispatcher-only subcategories (subcats) on the website.

Dispatcher links
Your first task is to familiarize yourself with the site. The best way to do that is to read the New dispatcher welcome (only accessible by dispatchers). Create a new topic in the /Dispatch/ category (found on the main page of the site) if you have any questions, and I or another staff member will explain anything :slight_smile:

To discuss dispatch availablity, can you reply to this thread: https://go.helpberkeley.org/t/dispatcher-availability/220/18?

Dispatchers work primarily in 4 different areas (each typically has one or two areas that they pick):

  • customer care on the website: promoting people to different roles on the site, answering questions, and helping people get the most out of the service
    … and on the upcoming helpline: doing the same on the phone, since many of our users are not tech savvy.
  • outreach and inreach: informing our target population of the existence of our service, by doing marketing activities, or directly reaching our customers and asking them if they know more people who could be helped by our service
    … and through social networks: we are just starting to do that
  • workflow dispatching: the most difficult of all tasks, but also the one we need most, in a way, since it is needed for the next day’s orders. It requires reconciling the photo orders form the restaurant and producing the delivery’s runs for the next day: it takes a decent understanding of Google Sheets and social networks o be effective at it. We need more people in this group who are attracted to the prospect of producing our daily runs.

So let us know what you would be most interested in, and I will put you in touch with the right people!

Thank you for again for volunteering your time with us, we’re glad to have you on board!

@Rosie, you offered to deliver by bike:

We would love to start doing that. One issue we have is that some deliveries are made to very hilly areas. It is complicated to set up deliveries so as to define separate bike runs and car runs. So we have not graduated to it yet. But we would like to.

Right now our delivery volume is low enough that it is not yet worth going though that effort. But pretty soon it will be. Possibly you might then be interested in participating in planning that?

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Hi Kaelan, I’ll start reading the dispatcher info now, thanks! And yes, I’d be interested in helping to plan bike delivery efforts if that’s something you’re able to get started soon.

It might be worth checking if Bike East Bay have capacity to help, for example just by reaching out (or putting a call-out in one of their newsletters) to people who might be able to lend/provide trailers, or to people with more extensive knowledge than I have about exactly which hilly routes are feasible (with a delivery trailer). I don’t know loads about Bike East Bay, I’m just a paid-up member and have taken a bike safety class and know that they’re active at the moment.

I also saw that Berkeley Meals on Wheels does some of their delivery routes by bike, so they might have know-how (I don’t have a connection with meals on wheels and haven’t checked if they currently need more bike delivery people, because it sounds like their need is for mornings, and I’m more available in the afternoons/evenings at the moment).

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One volunteer contacted us already about trying to make it work. We are not quite ready for it yet but I think in a couple of weeks we will be. We should probably start a thread on bike deliveries in the /dispatch/orders subcat in a couple of weeks, and include @sol, who is coordinating drivers.

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