THON Prepares For Canning Weekend With Alternative Transportation
Tonight marks the start of the first canning weekend of the 2016-17 school year, and, as of now, the third-to-last canning weekend ever. In a canning-policy overhaul designed to make the weekend safer, THON solidified alternative transportation to give volunteers another option when it comes to traveling to their canning destinations.
Canners were able to sign up to take a bus to popular soliciting locations — Altoona, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, King of Prussia, Philadelphia, Allentown, Newark, and New York City — for free. Alternative methods of transportation have been offered in the past, but this year they appear to be more popular and THON is excited about the volunteer interest.
Volunteer Safety Director Andrew Smith said of the more than 7,000 (and counting) volunteers intending to go canning this weekend, more than 100 signed up to utilize the transportation.
“By far the most popular route was the route to Philadelphia with stops in Harrisburg and at the King of Prussia Mall,” he said. “We anticipate Pittsburgh will be a popular destination for the second Fundraising Outreach & Canning Weekend with canning being available for October 29.”
THON announced the plans for the alternative transportation in August, giving volunteers almost a month to sign up for a spot on one of the buses. THON opened the registration on THINK, the organization’s sign-up and volunteer management system, and set up the buses from there.
THINK collected and organized all of the volunteer information and then THON took over and manually assigned each registered canner to a bus. The system apparently worked well, as THON will be using THINK again to register participants for buses on the second canning weekend.
Smith said so far THON has received positive feedback in response to the alternative transportation options.
“We are excited to see how everything works in action this weekend,” Smith said. “We believe it will play a larger role in the last two Fundraising Outreach & Canning Weekends as we further refine our systems and make the registration process even easier.”