Online Scheduling Helps Must Ministries Serve 883 Families Each Thanksgiving

A great thing about flexible online scheduling software is how many types of organizations can use it for so many different needs. When new users call in, the most exciting thing is figuring out how to flex TimeTap to fully cover their needs.

Kendall Jones, Program Director for MUST Ministries, talked me through the challenge they faced in their Thanksgiving Food Basket Program and how TimeTap online scheduling allows them to serve 883 families in 3 days each November.

An Online Scheduling Challenge:

MUST Ministries is a volunteer-driven organization that helps to address the basic needs of families and individuals living in Georgia’s Cobb & Cherokee counties.

“We’ve been doing the Thanksgiving program for years,” Kendall told me, “but just last year we switched from our MUST Track software for intake & special events to a social services agency based software so some capability disappeared.

“So I started doing research on scheduling programs but found out that most didn’t let multiple families book per time slot. We had 883 families to fit into 3 days so we were going to need to see 80-100 people per hour. Obviously we were going to need to be able to service multiple people at one time.”

One feature TimeTap has that allowed Kendall to setup a great schedule for the three days before Thanksgiving is setting up multiple staff persons. You can schedule multiple clients to multiple staff persons to enable as many people as you need to be scheduled for each time slot.

“I called in to you guys and explained the situation. You guys were great and told me to set the time slots up for multiple staff persons and we were on our way,” he said.

Food Basket Pickups: Organized Demand

On the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday leading up to Thanksgiving Thursday, Kendall and his volunteers have to give food baskets to hundreds of families. “In the past, there’s been a real fear of scarcity which has created huge demand on Monday with fewer people wanting to pick up their basket on Wednesday,” he told me mentioning how chaotic the influx was on the first two days.

“The great thing about TimeTap,” he continued, “is that we’re able to open up just a few slots at a time on each day. This helps to spread people out so that we see 400 families on Monday, around 300 families on Tuesday, and around 200 families on Wednesday.”

The fast and constant updating was a must to control this level of demand as well. The nice thing about online scheduling is that once the spot is booked, it’s booked. You don’t have to worry about double booking and it’s accessible anywhere there’s an internet connection.

“Your program really worked the best because it allowed so much flexibility to meet our needs and was easy for the volunteers to use and follow,” he said. “It was also huge that we were able to really spread it out over the 3 days instead of being slammed on Monday.”

360° Reactions

With online appointment scheduling, MUST Ministries’ volunteers got a report print out of all the families they could expect to see in the 10 minute increments. “We have a local ROTC program volunteer with us for the event and it’s great to have an easy to use spreadsheet of all the families we have coming in. It’s easy for the volunteers to read off of and follow,” Kendall told me.

“It’s really been a lifesaver for our Thanksgiving program and our Christmas Toy Shop program. This year we are also using the email pop up’s as a voucher printout where we include their IDs in so it’s easy to get them checked off as they come in.”

At TimeTap we’re happy to have helped MUST Ministries Thanksgiving Food Basket Program efficiently distribute food, a MUST for all of our basic needs.

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