By July 2021, it had been more than a year since Kentucky Health Justice Network’s last volunteer case manager gathering. The need for a space where volunteers could receive training, connect, and meet one another in person was urgent. “We’re really proud of our high volunteer retention rate,” says KHJN’s Support Fund Director Meg Sasse Stern, “and one of the ways we do that is by creating spaces for our case managers to support each other.”
As COVID-19 cases declined over the summer months, KHJN staff moved forward with planning a hybrid event. They worked with volunteers to build an agenda, and made use of a conference space at their office with a large screen and a special camera and microphone, allowing some attendees to join the gathering remotely.
Meg applied for a TA mini-grant from NNAF to cover a portion of the costs. The $1,500 mini-grant KHJN received covered meals and meal cards for fifteen volunteers, postage for their swag bags, and – critically – speaker fees for a session with two movement therapists. “It felt so good to not only be able to pay these amazing professionals but be able to pay them fairly for their work. To be able to say ‘what’s your rate?’ instead of ‘here’s what we can afford,’” Meg reports.