We’re so grateful to have dedicated volunteers who help make our community a vibrant space. PFM staff recently interviewed Zero Waste volunteer, Misha Klassen, to learn more about her and her volunteer experience at the market.
PFM- How long have you lived in the Prescott area?
Misha- I’ve been in the area for 5 months.
PFM- What work do you do in your professional career?
Misha- I am an Environmental Educator/ Program Coordinator. I am currently facilitating after-school youth development programs for Project GRAD, a nonprofit that supports teachers and students in rural Alaskan schools.
PFM- Tell me how you first got involved in volunteering with PFM.
Misha- I went to the market every Saturday to buy food, watch live music, and visit with other community members. As someone new to town, I enjoyed seeing familiar faces every week at the market! I had noticed that many of the vendor materials (plates, napkins, cups, etc.) were recyclable or compostable, but were ending up in the trash. It looked like an easy fix to me – get some volunteers to help sort trash! I spoke with PFM staff member Marie one morning as she handed out surveys at the market, and she encouraged me to get involved as a volunteer!
PFM- What volunteer roles have you taken in the past? What roles do you look forward to in the future?
Misha- I helped get the Zero Waste booth up and running by engaging market-goers, creating informational pamphlets and displays about waste, sorting trash for recycling and compost, weighing and collecting waste data, set-up/clean-up.
PFM- What do you wish other people knew about PFM as a market and also as a volunteer opportunity?
Misha- I know that some people don’t feel like they can afford much of the food at the market, but I would encourage them to come and participate anyway! See the free live music, enjoy sampling some goodies, and talk to your neighbors! There are some really affordable and delicious hot food options as well. The market feels like a really inclusive environment. Don’t worry if you’re by yourself or with your family, feeling rich or pinching pennies, able-bodied or otherwise – come to the Market! Multiple languages are also spoken.
As folks consider volunteering, I hope they keep those same things in mind. Also know that the market staff is incredibly supportive, and the vendors are all really excited to have you there helping out!
PFM- Why do you volunteer with PFM as opposed/in addition to other local organizations?
Misha- I enjoy volunteering for other organizations as well, but am particularly interested in food systems and education.
PFM- What excites you about volunteering with PFM?
Misha- Getting to see friendly faces each week, eating delicious bread at the market, and talking with new community members every Saturday!
PFM- Anything else we should know about you as a volunteer?
Misha- no, except that I will be back to Prescott sometime in the near future and I’ll see you at the Zero Waste booth!
PFM- a huge THANK YOU to Misha for her volunteer efforts. Her knowledge, dedication and passion to match our goal to bring PFM to a Zero Waste level helped us launch the program and get it up and running so smoothly. Misha truly is a great example of one person, with a little time, making a big difference. We can’t wait for you to return from Alaska, Misha, we miss you!
Interviewer’s note: Are you interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at PFM? Send us an email for more information.