Volunteer

WindowDressers is a grassroots, volunteer-run nonprofit organization that trains, supplies, and supports teams of community volunteers who conduct Community Workshops to build insulating window inserts for local residents. To volunteer at your local community workshop, sign up HERE.

Volunteers for WindowDressers are typically motivated by environmental concerns, social and economic justice concerns, a love of making things with their hands, and/or a desire to participate in a community effort producing concrete, meaningful results.

Together, our volunteers have built over 27,000 custom-made insulating window inserts since 2010, with about 25% given away to low-income families. These inserts improve the warmth and comfort of homes, lower fuel bills, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Lincoln Street Center Volunteer

The Lincoln Street Center Volunteer assists at the heart of WindowDressers. Our central production facility constructs over 6,000 wooden frames or kits in a 4-month span. Under the guidance of our Production Manager, KC Heyniger, and our Assistant Production Manager, Christine Hunt, this work is done entirely by volunteers. Volunteers are needed every weekday between 8am and 4pm.

Lincoln Street Center Volunteers help WindowDressers achieve its mission by:

  • Drilling pilot and counter-sinking holes in the pre-cut wooden framing members using our drill presses.
  • Cutting struts using our chop saw.
  • Assembling frames using glue, clamps, and screw-drills.
  • Moving frames to our staging area on wheeled carts
  • Repair of damaged or misfitting inserts (if skilled)
  • Various miscellaneous tasks as the arise – there is always something to do!

Come be a part of the busy hub of Lincoln Street Center – just stop in!  (Groups and corporate volunteering are welcome with advanced notice).

To arrange volunteer at the Lincoln Street Center, call KC, Production Manager  at 207-691-2030 or via e-mail at production@windowdressers.org

WindowDressers Local Coordinators

Local Coordinators (LCs) are in charge of organizing their local Community Workshop from start to finish. They work closely with the Director of Community Workshops, Laura Seaton, to plan the collaboration. LCs typically spend 10-12 hours per week during the busy fall season leading up to their Community Workshop and may spend 4-6 hours per week in the spring and summer on early organizing efforts. Community Workshops recur year after year and most of our Local Coordinators continue to lead their teams in subsequent years.

Local Coordinators help WindowDressers achieve its mission by:

  • Recruiting households to receive inserts through social networks, flyers, email lists, Facebook, press releases, food pantries, LiHeap offices, etc
  • Recruiting an organizing team that includes 2-3 Measuring Teams (4-6 people) to be trained by WindowDressers, a Volunteer Coordinator, a Transport Crew, and Shift Supervisors who will learn the techniques in advance so they can train and supervise each shift of volunteers. As some people will play multiple roles, the organizing team is recommended to be 4-10 committed people, including the Local Coordinator.
  • Assigning customers to the Measuring Teams and following up to ensure they are measured on time.
  • Following up on customer payments, as necessary.
  • Scheduling the Community Workshop with the Director and securing a donated location for 5 days.
  • Creating a training and scheduling plan with Shift Supervisors to ensure coverage throughout the Community Workshop.
  • New Local Coordinators and Shift Supervisors will participate in an established Community Workshop prior to their own in order to learn all tasks and learn how to train volunteers. Local Coordinators generally also act as Shift Supervisors during their Community Workshop.
  • Communicating with the Director of Community Workshops regarding any problems, suggestions, successes, and needs.

To volunteer as a Local Coordinator to create a Workshop in your community, please contact Laura Seaton, Director of Community Workshops at director@windowdressers.org or 230-9902

WindowDressers Measurers

WindowDressers Measurers are our customer-contact specialists. They work in teams to visit households in their community to evaluate and measure their windows. Measurers typically contribute 20-30 hours total spread over 2-4 months. Many measurers also participate significantly in the Community Workshop. A detailed training is provided on all tasks and support is available as needed.

Measurers support WindowDressers’ mission by:

  • Calling insert-requesting households and scheduling a measuring appointment at their home.
  • Driving to homes in their community to conduct measuring appointments.
  • Evaluating windows for inserts and talking to residents about their options.
  • Measuring windows using a laser measuring tool.
  • Entering the measurements into our custom software.
  • Discussing payment options with residents.
  • Emphasizing the need for residents to participate in the Community Workshop and encouraging early scheduling.
  • Following up with residents after the Community Workshop to ensure their inserts fit properly.
  • Resolving any non-fitting inserts by assessing the problem, re-measuring if necessary, and assisting with resolution until a properly fitting insert has been installed.

Only one member of the team needs to be proficient with each task. The team (combined) must have a reliable vehicle and a laptop. WindowDressers has a limited number of laptops that it can loan, when necessary.

To volunteer, please contact the Local Coordinator of your nearest Community Workshop.

Or contact Laura Seaton, Director of Community Workshops at director@windowdressers.org or 230-9902

WindowDressers Volunteer Coordinator

The WindowDressers Volunteer Coordinator ensures the smooth running of the Community Workshop by recruiting and scheduling community participants. The Volunteer Coordinator is encouraged to use our easy online scheduling system: SignUp. Set up and training is provided. Volunteer Coordinators may also recruit and schedule local businesses to donate food for the Community Workshop participants. Volunteer Coordinators typically contribute 15-25 hours of time total, spread over the 2-4 weeks leading up to and including the Community Workshop.

Volunteer Coordinators support WindowDressers’ mission by:

  • Calling and/or emailing the households who have ordered inserts to schedule them for participation shifts at the Community Workshop (~50% of participants)
  • Recruiting and scheduling other volunteers from the community to participate in the Workshop. (~50% of participants) These volunteers can be from social networks, civic or environmental organizations, high schools, scouts, local businesses, etc
  • Greeting and checking in volunteers at the beginning of each shift and having them sign waivers. (Can be delegated)
  • Some Volunteer Coordinators set up and clean up the food for the mid-shift snack break and/or the Community Lunch / Dinner that is provided in between shifts. (Can be delegated)
  • Sending thank you’s to all volunteers after the Community Workshop is over.

To volunteer, please contact the Local Coordinator of your nearest Community Workshop.

Or contact Laura Seaton, Director of Community Workshops at director@windowdressers.org or 230-9902

Shift Supervisors

The WindowDressers Shift Supervisor trains and supports the volunteer participants during each shift of the Community Workshop. They typically contribute 10-15 hours per week for two nonconsecutive weeks.

Shift Supervisors support WindowDressers mission by:

  • Participating in an experienced Community Workshop in a nearby Community. This allows them to learn or refresh the steps necessary to construct WD inserts and observe the training methods of experienced Shift Supervisors.
  • Reviewing training documents and videos.
  • Working one or more shifts during the Community Workshop; training, supervising and supporting the crew of volunteers at that shift.

To volunteer, please contact the Local Coordinator of your nearest Community Workshop.

Or contact Laura Seaton, Director of Community Workshops at director@windowdressers.org or 230-9902

Transport Crew

The WindowDressers Transport Crew is a team of 4 people who drive to our production center in Rockland, ME, load all of the Workshop supplies onto a rented truck, drive to their Workshop location, unload the supplies, and return the truck. At the end of the Community Workshop, they return all gear and unused supplies to Rockland.

To volunteer, please contact the Local Coordinator of your nearest Community Workshop.

Or contact Laura Seaton, Director of Community Workshops at director@windowdressers.org or 230-9902

Community Workshop Participant

The households that receive inserts are expected to participate in the Community Workshop where the inserts are built. However, we also need members of the community to contribute to the effort as well. Typically, you can sign up for a 4-hour shift and learn one simple step in the insert-building process. The steps are:

  • Applying “white tape” to the perimeter of the wooden frames.
  • Stretching plastic film across the frames and sticking it to the double-sided white tape (a team of two people work together)
  • Applying clear packing tape around the perimeter of the wooden frames after the plastic film has been applied.
  • Applying a strip of foam around the perimeter of the frame

Each job has “jigs” that make the job easier to do and for uniform quality. You will be trained at the beginning of your shift on how to do your task. Volunteering for multiple shifts is encouraged! Mid-shift snacks and a meal are provided to all Participants.

To volunteer, please contact the Local Coordinator of your nearest Community Workshop or sign up HERE.