My first responsibility as a group leader was to try to find a group of willing volunteers. I asked for volunteers from my group of family and friends. I began with a group of people that I know because they already had an understanding of my values, assumptions, beliefs, and expectations, which is something I did not think I could impart to a small group of people in a limited amount of time. They know that I value animals. They know that I assume that most decent people will also spend a little time and effort to help animals, if doing so does not unduly inconvenience them. They know that I believe that, even if the number of strays were able to help was statistically insignificant, I would feel like the project was a success if we were able to help even a single animal.
Finally, being familiar with me, they understand my expectation that people honor their commitments. Every single volunteer could have chosen to be somewhere else, but, because they had committed to doing this work, and because the group depended upon everyone honoring those commitments, I expected them to honor them.
First, I asked for volunteers who wanted to work directly in the field. Next, I asked the volunteers whether they wanted to drive spotting vehicles or the vans that would be used for the actual animal collection process. Both of these activities were somewhat high risk. There is an inherent danger in driving a vehicle around unfamiliar neighborhoods. This is an area where I felt as if my social awareness skills were important. I wanted to ensure that the participants were well-trained, but I also did not want to risk alienating a volunteer by.