So Good Friday is all but over!
Church service this morning was such a smooth run given the most complex part of operating the video/lyrics was to combine ready-made background footage with specific songs.We remained conservative, and rightly so in sticking to ProPresenter 5, and not create more headaches for ourselves with the version 6 beta. That is a whole other story really…
The 10am single service ended shortly after 11am which allowed for a relaxing drive down to South Wharf and the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, which played host to the Good Friday Appeal/Kids Day Out. As part of handing in the collection tin that I had organised a year ago, I helped my friend register in the money counting area, which was an operation of the GFA which I have never visited in person. Having arrived way before the expected 1pm start of the afternoon shift, 2015 marked the first time in the four years that I have been involved as a phone room volunteer to see the other areas that are just as important to ensuring the Appeal runs smoothly.
My phone room shift began slightly after 1pm and the early afternoon remained more quiet than busy. In total I took just over 20 calls throughout the five-hour afternoon session. For about 30% of the time, taking calls was not feasible or realistic given the amount of noise in the Plenary from the various performers who would periodically visit to practice and warm up for the evening Charity Gala Concert. I had a quick break around 4pm when I returned to the money collection area to visit my friend as well as pick up the receipt from the money tin.
So, thank you to Terra Firma and Telstra colleagues who combined to donate $179 in the last 12 months.
After a 30 minute dinner break, during which time I was able to visit my car and put away the bag of goodies received from the Easter Bunny, I visited the Overflow Phone Room upstairs where another friend was volunteering. This room was roughly the same size as the main Plenary Phone Room and is arguably THE central hub of operation for the Good Friday Appeal. The phones in this room never stop, whereas the Plenary phones do get switched off during periods where the noise level is expected to prevent meaningful donation talks over the phone. In this overflow room, the way they have operated with the use of technology (laptops and headsets) suggests that they get to trial and pioneer the new technology before the Plenary phone room adopts the same tools. In 2014, use of laptops and headsets was first introduced into the Overflow Room, and this year the Plenary phone room held a partial trial. I was fortunate to utilise the headset/laptop system this year and along with the volunteers I was sitting next to, we all agreed that using the laptop/headset made a huge difference. On its own, the headsets are the biggest improvement since ALL phones now utilise them. This has a huge impact on us volunteers since we would spend hours holding a phone handset and strain our necks. Typing instead of handwriting provides greater efficiency and accuracy in the capturing of data.
This year, since I was staying on for a few extra hours after my scheduled shift end, I had the bonus privilege of being in the Plenary Phone Room during the first hour or so of the Gala Concert. I was totally blown away when the opening act was none other than JUSTICE CREW performing Que Sara! I just happened to be standing metres away at the left-hand side of the stage/phone area during their act, which was clearly a roof raiser. The only irony to this experience was that my phone had already died so I was denied the opportunity of snapping some pictures as a memento.
Returning home, I have reverted to my true colours and love of data statistics. The following graph is the result of my compilation of the tallies that the GFA publish on Facebook/twitter. At this point in time, it is my prediction that the 2015 final tally will likely be another record-setter, in spite of the softness shown in the last 11:30pm tally. I was privileged to take two separate donations today each over $1000. Of course, these were by two companies/organisations and not individuals. The largest individual donation was from a grandmother who donated $300 on behalf of her three grandchildren.
Tomorrow I will be spending the day at Phillip Island, and as it is a public holiday Easter weekend, other than a quick update of the final 2015 GFA tally, my usual Saturday posting/publication cycle will not transpire tomorrow.
I am planning on Monday to upload/create something special based on the Good Friday Appeal experience. All I will say at this stage is that Justice Crew’s Que Sera will feature…
Final Tally Update
Final tally update via the official picture! My prediction was accurate that it would be another record. The detailed analysis suggested a much tighter margin, which suggests a final half-hour surge in donations!