Notes from the Field

Volunteer Spotlight: Christina Rohrbacher

In March 2016, The New Garden Society brought on a Volunteer Social Media Coordinator to share our work with a broader public. Learn more about what motivates Christina Rohrbacher to give time to The New Garden Society.

Why do you give your time to The New Garden Society? How did you get involved?

My background is in building sustainable communities. The deeper my understanding of this went, the more I understood that social justice is one of the biggest components of climate change, and that low-income individuals and families would be more greatly affected by climate change’s negative impacts. Someone very close to me has experienced incarceration first hand. Since his time incarcerated, I have watched him struggle to find full-time employment due to his record. It became clear to me that we are failing our prisoners upon reentry, by not only leaving them with the label and stigma of incarcerated individual, but by not adequately preparing people during their incarceration for release. I am passionate about communications and social media, so when I found their listing for a volunteer Social Media Coordinator, I knew it would be a great fit for us.

What do you do as a volunteer with The New Garden Society?

I am currently working to create a social media strategy for TNGS. I enjoy communications work, getting the message out about The New Garden Society’s amazing work. Social Media is a powerful platform for reaching diverse audiences. I create content based on updates from staff, events we are participating in, and our partners and other like-minded organizations. I analyze the results of the content that is published. Based on these results, I will be able to create “best practices” for some communications strategies and processes.

What do you look forward to when you volunteer?

I look forward to always learning more about this kind of work. As a Social Media Coordinator, I am constantly searching for new ways to engage with the public. This includes finding articles about similar programs, creating compelling visual content for Facebook, and strategizing about how to communicate more effectively and efficiently. I look forward to seeing people’s reactions to the content The New Garden Society puts out and gaining support.

What have you gained from your volunteer experience?

I am learning about the complexity of communicating ideas about a small nonprofit organization. It is challenging and rewarding. Much of my work can be experimenting: trying different kinds of posts at different times, reading the analytics, and adjusting the work to reflect results.

I have also gained wonderful new colleagues. I truly feel a part of the organization and a valuable member of a team. This makes my work more exciting and fulfilling.

How do you spend your time when you’re not volunteering with The New Garden Society?

I work as an AmeriCorps VISTA with New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, a farmer training program located in Lowell, MA. We serve beginning, immigrant and refugee farmers by managing incubator farm sites in Dracut, MA and Newburyport, MA. I am the Volunteer Recruitment Facilitator. I work to create systems to build capacity for staff who manage our volunteers at both our farm sites and at our World PEAS Food Hub.

I am also a climate change activist, volunteering with 350 Mass of Lowell to further our divestment, carbon pricing, and anti-pipeline campaigns. Horticulture and agriculture play an important role in mitigating climate change.

Interested in volunteering with us?  Fill out our short volunteer application to let us know!