/ Matthews UMC’s Walk Through Bethlehem Volunteer Success Story
During the hectic holiday season it’s always nice to find activities that remind us what Christmas is all about.
Each year, Matthews United Methodist Church invites guests from the community to be a part of the Christmas story with the annual event Walk Through Bethlehem. With the assistance of over 700 volunteers, the church transforms their campus into the very city where Joseph and Mary traveled to long ago.
It’s no easy feat to coordinate the hundreds of volunteers who work to deliver this one-day experience to over 6,000 annual attendees. Communications Director Shannon Cotton was thrilled when she found out there was a better way for the event’s Volunteer Coordinator to organize people and shifts. “Originally we heard about SignUpGenius through a staff member who signed up as a volunteer for a community event. She noted how easy it was for a volunteer and suggested we look into how much it would cost. We were happily surprised to find out the site was free.”
Terri Boyd, the Volunteer Coordinator for Walk Through Bethlehem, was impressed by how easy it was to set up the sign up and send it out to potential volunteers. “The site has turned our volunteer process into an easily-managed format,” Cotton says. “SignUpGenius has helped us focus our time on building relationships with people instead of on administrative work.”
Along with managing this annual event, Matthews United Methodist Church has coordinated many other church needs through SignUpGenius including consignment sale volunteers, Sunday school volunteers, Vacation Bible School material donations and much more.
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Cotton says that SignUpGenius has completely changed the way they organize people and events at their church. She mentions features that have been the most useful, noting “One useful feature of SignUpGenius is being able to export data into excel for each lead coordinator to manage. Another helpful feature is having the ability to quickly print the most recent data last minute before a meeting to encourage sign up on a hard copy or to remind them of the urgency for going online.”
The ease of the SignUpGenius has made it easy for Cotton to offer a recommendation of the site to many of their groups. She has been pleased by the feedback. “The common replies we hear from our ministries and community groups, especially from computer novices, are how easy it is to construct and navigate a sign up. Who wouldn’t want to make it as easy as possible on their volunteers? The SignUpGenius website lets us do just that,” says Cotton.
SignUpGenius is honored to partner with churches like Matthews UMC by helping them to organize people and events, so they may continue to carry out their greater missions. If you have a story to share about how your church has used SignUpGenius, please do so in the comments below or on our Facebook page.