PHOTO: Bert Rogoway, foreground, has been making calls on Super Sunday for about half of his 90 years. He's looking forward to participating again this year when volunteers will make calls from home to raise funds to meet community needs.
BY DEBORAH MOON
Super Sunday is going virtual and will be on Zoom like everything else this year. Volunteer callers are needed for two shifts on Sunday, Dec. 20, when the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland presents its first home-based Super Sunday phonathon.
The party atmosphere that has surrounded banks of callers in the past will move to the Zoom room. Community volunteers will celebrate their collective impact together by taking advantage of Zoom features. The spirit of Super Sunday and goal for the day remains the same. Super Sunday is still a vital cog in the annual campaign to fund community needs.
“The more people we can reach, the more we can do to support our agencies and the needs of our community,” says JFGP Campaign Director Wendy Kahn.
In a year when many volunteer activities are not possible, Wendy says Super Sunday gives volunteers “an awesome way to make a big difference in the community.”
Each year on Super Sunday, volunteers raise critical funds that support the network of organizations that make the metro Jewish community vibrant and strong. Super Sunday also builds relationships with community members and is an opportunity to check in with people at least once a year.
At age 90, Bert Rogoway has been making calls on Super Sunday for about 45 years. He has called many of the same people for years.
He recalls one year when that annual reach was able to help a community member in need. About 10 years ago, he called a woman who had always made a generous pledge. So when she told him she couldn’t donate that year, he asked what was happening. When she said she was facing foreclosure, he immediately called Josh Stein, who was then campaign director. Josh called Jewish Family & Child Service on Monday morning.
“We got this straightened out,” says Bert. “It was a heartwarming story. In the past, she had helped the community. That year, the community was able to help her.”
Bert says he also likes to call some new people each year. “I enjoy talking to people,” he says. “Usually people are very, very nice. I explain to people what Federation is all about. Some people who never gave before make a pledge and some don’t.”
Bert adds, “I feel good because I am helping the community.”
To get that same sense of accomplishment in just an hour and a half, sign up to volunteer at jewishportland.org/supersunday. For more information, contact Wendy at 503-892-3015 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year, the volunteers will easily make calls from the comfort of home after a brief training session. Shifts run 10-11:30 am and noon-1:30 pm. Sign up for one or both. Volunteers will have a Federation support team available to answer questions. From a sample script to how to respond to frequently answered questions, volunteers will have all they need to make their time enjoyable and successful.
“We encourage callers, emailers and texters alike,” says Wendy. “Come one come all – this is an opportunity to help our community meet the financial challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
This year, Super Sunday can be a family project for those with older children. “I love Super Sunday," says Wendy. “I love watching my kids work the phones.”