Cleveland evangelists, this one's for you. By volunteering during the Republican National Convention, you'll have a chance to spread the good word of the Cuyahoga and St. LeBron to 50,000 visitors who will be parachuting into town.
As of Jan. 7, 4,091 volunteers have signed up online to preach the gospel of CLE. But the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, the nonpolitical arm of the convention, needs 8,000 such apostles.
"We know that there's a lot of pride in our community, and this is an outstanding way to show that pride," says Sharon Richman, Host Committee volunteer manager. "We have to show it to the nation and the world while we're in the national spotlight."
During the week of the July convention, the volunteers will be the first people visitors meet at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. They will also be stationed at approximately 100 hotels throughout Northeast Ohio that have been reserved for the convention.
As they put in three four-hour shifts each during the week, volunteers will be Cleveland's ambassadors, offering chow recommendations and directions.
Volunteers will undergo roughly two hours of customer service training. There will also be a crash course in where to send conventiongoers — such as downtown restaurants, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum or the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Last month, the Host Committee began a campaign to recruit more volunteers by networking with local corporations.
"We're definitely not going to fall short in the volunteers that are needed," says Richman. "I expect that we may exceed the number required."
But volunteers are not expected to live by philanthropy alone. Each will get Cleveland vestments to keep after the convention: a Host Committee-branded T-shirt, hat and sling bag branded in what will be, for a week anyway, a holy color. "They're going to be red," says Richman.