AFAP seeks volunteer facilitators for annual conference
Family and MWR Marketing
Army Family Action Plan’s annual conference gives the Fort Bliss community a chance to better the quality of life for all who live and work on the installation. Volunteers who staff the conference are an essential part of the process: Without people who give their time and talents to the cause, the conference couldn’t take place, said Helen Barrientes, AFAP program manager.
While every volunteer at the Fort Bliss AFAP Conference plays an important role, facilitators serve as the wheels of the program, Barrientes said; facilitators make the conference “go,” and AFAP needs volunteers to serve in this position.
Volunteering through AFAP allows individuals to give back to the community in a unique way, Barrientes said.
“When you serve as a facilitator, you’re part of a huge family of volunteers who are seeing that the community’s needs are met,” she said. “You’re giving back to the community by serving as the wheels on an action: the action of seeing what the community’s suggestions and ideas are, and helping to make those suggestions and ideas a reality.”
At the AFAP Conference, volunteer delegates address and prioritize quality-of-life issues submitted by community members. Delegates are split into workgroups that address issues in different categories. Facilitators are key members of these workgroups, Barrientes said, because they shepherd the workgroups through the process of reviewing the ideas and making sure each idea is addressed. The facilitators help the workgroup choose issues most important to the community and the Army family at large. Those issues are presented as a report to the post commanding general at the end of the conference.
“It’s a huge job, a huge responsibility, but I believe that at Fort Bliss we have some fantastic volunteers who are more than capable of this,” Barrientes said.
This year’s Fort Bliss AFAP Conference will take place Oct. 18 through 22. The call for volunteers has come earlier than usual because conference facilitators must now undergo a two-part accreditation process, Barrientes said. The initial instructor phase of the training will take place July 27 through 29, from 6 to 9 p.m. A facilitator portion of the training follows at a later date; volunteers must complete both sessions in order to serve as facilitators.
For 26 years Army-wide, and 23 years here, AFAP has allowed everyone in the Army family the chance to tell leadership what they think is working, what they think isn’t working and what they think will fix it.
Volunteers who have previously served as facilitators can submit applications online at www.blissmwr.com/afap.
For more information, call 568-2672.