By Alexandria Hoff
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A request for about 10,000 volunteers to help out with the July Democratic National Convention has produced an outpouring that now hovers around 17,000.READ MORE: Spring Garden Community Pantry Collects Winter Gear For Those In Need On Black Friday
“I’m more surprised about how quickly the response has grown in just a few short months,” said PHLDNC Volunteer Coordinator, Hannah Tran.
Aron Minkoff signed on. Eyewitness News caught up with him on his second day.
“I’m kind of in transition right now between undergrad and law school,” he said.
Alexa Grollman was an early volunteer to the event. She signed on as soon as she heard that Philadelphia got the bid and has been working alongside organizers for the last year.
“I am a stay at home mom,” she said, “I’ve been out of the workforce for almost 12 years,” she explained from behind a laptop in the Democratic National Convention’s Center City office.
It is clear that the pool of volunteers has been diverse. Some will travel across the country to help out. Others will be coming from overseas. Background checks will be standard the bi-partisan organization explained.
“We’ve decided that the most convenient way to honor everyone’s schedule is to do broad web-based training,” said Tran, “Everyone will be alerted when that’s ready.”READ MORE: Dozens Of Mom-And-Pop Shops In Manayunk Prepare For Small Business Saturday
But what do you do with an extra 7,000 helping hands?
“We will need volunteers in our headquarters doing administrative support, greeting delegates as they get off of planes and trains, as well as just welcoming them to Philadelphia,” said Tran, assuring that the extra support is welcome.
Come convention week one might find a volunteer inside of a coffee shop, standing on a street corner giving directions to historic landmarks, or posted up near suburban hotels to assist visitors with logistics. In short, organizers say that the assignments are going to run the gamet. Since all volunteers won’t be scheduled at the same time, the extra manpower will be utilized well.
“Some of the things I’ve been working on is the Donkeys Around Town program,” said Grollman of the plan to distribute artistic donkeys around the city starting July 1st in celebration of the convention.
“I’ve been working on communications,” said Minkoff, “Putting out press releases and stuff like that.”
A resume booster for sure.
Though it is the DNC, Tran says the volunteer pool is made up of plenty of R’s and I’s. Those involved are encouraged to show their political enthusiasm throughout the process but will be “politely asked” not to rally on behalf of any particular candidate while on the “volunteer” clock.MORE NEWS: Stray Bullet Kills Man Eating Thanksgiving Dinner Inside Norristown Home, Police Say
Once the number exceeds 17,000 a waitlist for additional volunteers will be formed.