Tour Howto

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FREE GEEK Tours HOWTO

We offer tours regularly; they are usually the first exposure a prospective volunteer or donor gets to our programs. People on the tours should get some sense of our purpose, programs, and culture. Quick Guide:

Please, feel free to extemporize as you see fit, as long as you make people feel welcome and get the important points across. At the end of the tour, they should have some idea of what program, if any, is right for them - or if they want to give us lots of money, or lots of food, or just spread the word.

  1. Front Doors/Welcome
  2. Receiving/Intro to adoption program
  3. Testing/Volunteer-driven
  4. Card & mobo sorting/Intro to build program*
  5. Recycling/Environmental aspects*
  6. Printerland & Mac pile
  7. System evaluation/Self-paced education
  8. Build area/Cooperative and ongoing learning
  9. Lab/The FreekBox & Open source
 10. Classrooms/Future plans
 11. Collab/Other progams
 12. Store/Focus on re-use
 13. Front desk/Questions and signup

You may want to swap these two, passing right on into the warehouse and talking about build on your way out, closer to the rest of the build program. Detailed Instructions

I've paired a thematic point with each location; you may do it slightly differently, as long as the stuff gets covered. There are links to example blahdeblah - and i want to include your example spiels on here, too! This isn't exactly a script but rather a set of talking points.

  1. Front Doors/Welcome :
     Make sure you have everyone.
     Ask why they're here.
     Give a quick summary of what we are. [example]
     Mention 2 main programs.
  2. Receiving/Intro to adoption program :
     Our main program is the "adoption program", where people donate 24 hours of time in exchange for a computer.
     Many adoption program volunteers work in receiving, processing donations. We don't require any prior knowledge or training; receiving often serves as an introduction to the web interface and to computer equipment in general.
     Incoming equipment flows through here; donations come from both individuals and companies. Much is still usable.
  3. Testing/Volunteer-driven :
     We can't keep everything, so we test many types of hardware.
     This is another place where adoption volunteers often spend their time. The tests are designed to be simple; helps demystify. [example]
     The testing scripts, like the database, are written and maintained by volunteers and are in a constant state of evolution.
  4. Card & mobo sorting/Intro to build program :
     The build program is increasingly popular for people for whom earning a computer is not their top priority.
     We don't require prior knowledge, just dedication.
     There's a step-by-step process working up to building systems, which starts here, with hardware recognition.
  5. Recycling/Environmental aspects :
     A major part of our mission is environmental, so if we can't re-use equipment, we make sure it's recycled responsibly. [example]
     This is an opportunity for people to get lots of hands-on experience with computers they don't have to be careful with.
  6. Printerland & the Mac pile :
     Smaller, specialized repair programs
     Collaboration with other organizations
     Dedication to re-use [example]
  7. System evaluation/Self-paced education :
     Note the stacks in the warehouse: systems that have been determined to be good by evaluators.
     System evaluation is a step in the build program, and a first step for systems. Spend as long as you need in these steps. [example]
  8. Build area/Cooperative and ongoing learning :
     People who have gone through eval and taken a basic command line class can join the build workshops, which run almost the entire time we're open.
     Systems built here go to adoption volunteers, grant recipients, infrastructure, and the store.
     There's a lot of peer teaching that goes on; volunteers can often learn something, then turn around and teach it to someone else. [example]
  9. Lab/The FreekBox & Open Source :
     Because the FreekBox is often a person's first computer, and because it's using relatively uncommon software, we include a class on how to use the computer when an adopter, builder, or grantee receives one.
     An important factor in the success of Free Geek is our use of Open Source software. [example] [example w/info on coders]
     The lab is available for Internet access to active volunteers as long as it's not in use as a classroom.
     Brief, planned detour to the server room for poignant reminder why we recycle: monitor dredged from willamette
 10. Classrooms/Future plans :
     Although our classes are currently limited to the build, command line and adoption classes already mentioned, we plan to expand.
     Classes in other user-end Open Source software, on programming, and other similar topics are in discussion. But don't hold your breath! Development of these is beign done by the same people who are trying to run the rest of the place!
 11. Collab/Other programs :
     Collaborative Technologies is a relatively new project of Free Geek; it provides consulting services to other non-profit and social change organizations who want to switch over to Open Source in order to save money and break free of the vicious upgrade cycle.
     Another less-known program is Computers for Kids. We work with organizations that bring us groups of at-risk youth who go through more supervised and instructed versions of the build and adoption programs and take home their own computers.
 12. Store/Focus on re-use :
     The store sells equipment that is below or outside the spec of what we need for our other programs.
     The store is just one of the ways Free Geek generates income to stay open. [example w/good outro]
     This not only helps us pay the rent but gets equipment back in use.
     Active volunteers get a discount in the store.
 13. Front desk/Questions and signup :
     Ask for questions.
     Volunteer intake !

Pointers

Example blurbs

Volunteer Intake Howto

Frequently Asked Questions

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