Good Works exists to connect people from all walks of life
with people in poverty so that the kingdom of God can be experienced.
To view “Growth In This Place,” a 12-minute documentary about the experiences of former residents of the Timothy House who are now on the Good Works staff, click here.
Good Works is a faith-based Christian community and our vision is to create a loving Community of HOPE with and for people who are struggling with homelessness and poverty in rural Appalachia. Since 1981, we have been forming diverse contexts in which people in need can experience welcome, connect with a caring community, access opportunities for practical assistance, and find ways they can share their skills and abilities with others. The people we are especially focused on loving are men, women and children who are without homes, children experiencing the risks of poverty, and older adults who are widowed or have a disability.
Each year, Good Works provides an opportunity for more than 1,100 different volunteers to serve their neighbors. Ohio University students represent a segment of our volunteers. For information about volunteering to receive academic credit or community service hours, click here.
Information about all of Good Works Volunteer Opportunities is just a click away (or you can just scroll):
- Agriculture and Gardening
- Computer, Network and Web Support
- Friday Night Life
- Good Gifts
- Good Works Property Maintenance
- Make a Video
- One-Time Efforts
- Opportunities for Groups
- Summer Lunch
- Saturday Service
- Senior Friends
- Summer Kids’ Discovery Club
THE TIMOTHY HOUSE: A home for people without homes since 1981
The Timothy House provides a safe, clean, stable, temporary place for people who are experiencing homelessness to stay while they work on the issues that brought them into this situation. Serving nine counties in rural Appalachia, we offer shelter to 150 to 200 different people each year. We welcome men, women and families with children. Under the leadership of our staff, volunteers interact with residents in the hope of providing support, encouragement and informal mentoring. Volunteers become a temporary “community net” while people are working through the matters that caused them to experience homelessness. The staff members of the Timothy House also rely on volunteers to provide practical assistance in the daily operation of the house.
Below are several different volunteer niches within the Timothy House:
- Weekday Mornings: Volunteers arrive at the Timothy House at 8am and stay until noon one day each week. Greeting the residents in the morning, sharing breakfast time, answering the doorbell, assisting families with childcare, helping residents with morning tasks, and working on organizing and cleaning around the house constitute much of the morning responsibilities. This commitment is once a week, on the same weekday, for three months. Email us, or contact Waylon Rogers at 740.594.3333 for more information.
- Weekday Evenings: Volunteers arrive at the Timothy House at 5pm and stay until 9pm once a week. Evening responsibilities include assisting with the dinner meal preparation, visiting with residents and guests, answering the doorbell, welcoming new residents and assisting families with childcare. Volunteers may also help with specific tasks such as daily household chores, filling out job application forms with residents or assisting with educational projects. More importantly, volunteers have the opportunity to simply to be present with the residents on a regular basis—talking and listening, joining in games or music, and sharing life. At the end of the evening volunteers have an opportunity to journal about their experiences. This commitment is once a week, on a consistent weekday, for three months. Email us, or contact Waylon Rogers at 740.594.3333 or for more information.
- Weekend Opportunity: In partnership with several local churches, Good Works offers a weekend volunteer opportunity for individuals or families in the faith community who want to serve and build relationships with people experiencing homelessness. Volunteers commit to four to five hours once a month, on a Saturday or Sunday morning, afternoon or evening. This opportunity requires a specific application process, special training and a six-month commitment. For more information on this opportunity, email us, or contact Fran Bissell at 740.594.3333. To view a video explaining the weekend opportunity and our partnership with local congregations, click here.
- Food Pantry Worker: Do you like to organize things? Food pantry volunteers make a once a week commitment to help us organize the food pantry and put things away at the Timothy House or the Good Works Luhrig Road property. This is arranged at a time between you and our staff and involves a 10-week commitment. For more information, email us, or contact Waylon Rogers at 740.594.3333.
- Training for Life Computer Class: Facilitated by Good Works staff, this class offers personalized computer training to Timothy House residents and community members. Held at the Timothy House twice a week, we teach typing, Internet access, Microsoft Office, resume writing and online job search training. We seek to broaden participants’ computer skills and increase their attractiveness to prospective employers. Volunteers assist staff in providing one-on-one attention. Volunteers serve for two to three hours per week for three months. The classes are typically held one morning and one evening a week. For more information, email us, or contact Waylon Rogers at 740.594.3333.
To explore any of the opportunities above, you can call and request to join us for dinner at the Timothy House (Monday-Thursday) to meet the staff, get a tour and receive a Volunteer Application.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIFE: A different kind of community meal since 1993.
Friday Night Life is a community event designed to bring people from all walks of life together around things everyone enjoys: food and companionship! Every Friday evening, we gather with our friends, some of whom are struggling to make ends meet, and others who volunteer to prepare a nutritious, free meal for everyone. Friday Night Life is held at The Plains UMC from October to March and on the Good Works Luhrig Road property from April to September. We are usually a group of 100 to 150 people.
Click here to watch a video about Friday Night Life.
Below are specific volunteer opportunities within Friday Night Life:
- Sponsor the Meal: Organize a group (not less than 7 and no more than 14) to provide the meal and help with clean up. Groups can sponsor the meal just once or on a more regular basis (once or twice a year). For more information about sponsoring a meal, click here or email us. You can also contact Sherilyn Weinkauf at 740.594.3339 to learn more and select a date.
- Friday Night Life Kids’ Club Leader: This is an opportunity to invest in the lives of children who are experiencing the risks of poverty. In cooperation with Good Works staff, the team of Kids’ Club Leaders participates in Friday Night Life, and plans and leads activities with the kids. We focus on children ages 4 to 17. Being a Kids’ Club Leader involves a six month commitment. For more information, email us, or contact Nick Smith at 740.594.3333.
- Van Driver: Many of our friends who are struggling with economic and social issues want to come to Friday Night Life but cannot because they have no transportation. This position involves driving a Good Works van to pick people up at a central location on Fridays at 4:30 pm and take them back at 7:30 pm. We ask for a commitment to drive eight out of ten weeks. For more information, call Paul Richard at 740.594.3336, or email us.
- Rides to Life: Through Rides to Life volunteers, we are able to provide seniors and people with physical disabilities transportation to Friday Night Life on a regular basis. Volunteers are matched with a Friday Night Life participant who needs transportation. Volunteers use their own vehicle and pick people up at their homes. This requires a minimum commitment of twice a month. Email us or contact Emily Axe at 740.594.3339 for more information.
- Friday Night Life Friendship: This is a niche for individuals to connect with Friday Night Life participants relationally during the evening. Their role is to be with others in an intentional way. Volunteers are encouraged to seek out those who appear disconnected, to visit with them and get to know them. We believe that each person has something both to teach and to learn. Volunteers commit to participating from 4:30 to 7:30 pm each week for three months. Email us, or contact Emily Axe at 740.594.3339 for information.
- Special Events: Help organize special community-building activities for adults at Friday Night Life. These typically take place before or after the meal. Ideas include music, drama, poetry, art, crafts, board games, recreational sports, haircuts or…? We are especially interested in creating contexts for Friday Night Life participants to share their talents with each other. A large amphitheater and alternative indoor space are available. To arrange a special event or to be involved on a regular basis, email us, or contact Keith Wasserman at 740.541.0816.
- Food Recovery: Volunteers provide vital assistance as we transport donations of food from the Ohio University Dining Hall Stores to Good Works locations each week. This food is distributed to participants in our Friday Night Life community. On an average week, we provide food for about 40 families to take home. Volunteers may use their own vehicle or a Good Works vehicle to transport the food. This opportunity requests a commitment of three months. For more information, email us or contact Emily Axe at 740.594.3339.
To explore any of the opportunities related to Friday Night Life, you can call us at 740.594.3339 and request to come to Friday Night Life once without an application. This will enable you to experience the community and determine if it is something you want to make a commitment to. For those interested in making a commitment, contact us to arrange a time meet our staff, do a tour and receive a Volunteer Application.
SENIOR FRIENDS: Serving through friendship
Senior Friends facilitates friendships between volunteers and older adults, both of whom desire the joy of such a relationship. Many of the people we have the privilege of knowing through Senior Friends are widowed. The isolating experience of physical limitation combined with economic struggle calls for the presence of a supportive community—and you can be part of this! Volunteers enter the door of Senior Friends through Friday Night Life and Neighbors Helping Neighbors. If you would like to develop a friendship with someone in Athens County and are willing to commit to visit twice a month (or more regularly) for 2 to 3 hours for a minimum of 6 months, contact us through email or call 740.594.3339.
Good Works relies on volunteers to assist with maintaining both of our properties. Responsibilities include lawn mowing, gardening, woodcutting, cleaning, and painting. Those who have skills to offer can help us with various mechanical, carpentry, plumbing and electrical projects. Small engine repair is also a consistent need. Volunteers can assist once a week or once every two weeks on at a time arranged with our staff. For more information, email us or contact Paul Richard at 740.594.3336.
Below are several other regular maintenance needs we have:
- Bicycle Maintenance and Repair: Good Works owns a number of bicycles that are used by Timothy House residents and provided to individuals through the Transformation Station. We are seeking a volunteer to provide the ongoing maintenance and repair that these bikes need. How about you? For more information, email us or contact Paul Richard at 740.594.3336.
- Auto Maintenance and Repair: Good Works has a number of vehicles donated from the community that need on-going repair and maintenance. We use some of these vehicles for Good Works business and others are given directly to a family in need through the Transformation Station. We are seeking volunteers to provide regular assistance in the repair and maintenance of these vehicles. For more information, email us or contact Paul Richard at 740.594.3336.
AGRICULTURE AND GARDENING: Building a sustainable food source
Our friends who struggle with poverty have very limited access to fresh, nutritious, low-cost food. As a result, obesity and diabetes are at dangerously high levels in this area. In an effort to create a just, affordable and healthy food source, Good Works has several agricultural initiatives. Along with a greenhouse and large garden on the Luhrig Road property and small one on Central Avenue, we help start and maintain gardens at the homes of our friends who are widowed or experiencing disability. During the summer, we lead an Agricultural Internship for local teens. Volunteers assist with developing our gardens alongside Good Works staff in the spring, summer and fall. For more information, email us or call Doug Schmaltz at 740.594.3339.
THE TRANSFORMATION STATION: Sweat-equity adds dignity
This volunteer opportunity is particularly for people in need of resources such as a vehicle, bicycle, furniture, appliances or non-emergency food. Transformation Station volunteers are invited to serve with us, and in exchange for their time, they earn points through which they receive a thank you gift in the form of an item they need. This opportunity is based on our belief that every person has skills and abilities, and that using these gifts to help themselves brings dignity and personal well-being.
Below are several ways individuals can volunteer to help the Good Works staff facilitate the vision of the Transformation Station:
- Working alongside Transformation Station volunteers: One of the main goals of the Transformation Station is to invite people who are struggling with poverty into a community in which they feel a sense of personal value and equality. Often, this is experienced through doing physical work alongside others. Through humility, we can build relationships with people in need that really bring encouragement and hope.
If you like working with people, and want to connect with those in need, you can volunteer to work alongside our Transformation Station volunteers. Practically speaking, this involves working with others on a wide range of projects that match your skills. Construction, repairs, property and lawn maintenance, cleaning, organizing food donations, and mailings are some of the potential tasks. This volunteer opportunity requires a 10-week commitment and takes place on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. For more information, email us or contact Paul Richard at 740.594.3336.
- Lunch-time Host for Transformation Station volunteers: There is nothing like a meal to bring people together! We hope to create a welcoming environment that includes our Transformation Station volunteers in a noon meal. Do you enjoy cooking? A Lunch-time Host would prepare a meal for 8 to 15 people in the Good Works Hannah House kitchen. Food is provided out of our pantry. This is a once-a-week commitment (10 am to 1:30 pm on a Wednesday or Thursday) for three months. For more information, email us or contact Paul Richard at 740.594.3336.
WORK RETREATS: A day of serving and learning together
Work Retreats provide an opportunity for a team of volunteers or a family (5 to 30 people) to participate in a one or two day experience in service and reflection. Based on the skills and interests of the group, we plan and lead group members in a variety of service tasks for the day. Participants help us with labor-intensive work to maintain our properties such as lawn care, splitting wood, gardening, and painting. Groups also offer assistance with high-skill jobs such as construction and repairs. In addition, we lead small groups to the homes of people who are older, widowed or have a physical disability to visit and offer practical assistance. Click here for a link to an 8 minute video about volunteering for a Work Retreat and for more information, email us, or call Paul Richard at 740.594.3336.
NEIGHBORS HELPING NEIGHBORS: Putting love for others into action
Through Neighbors Helping Neighbors (formerly Samaritan Projects), we invite small groups of volunteers to visit our neighbors in Athens County, spend time with them, and do labor-intensive projects at their homes. Each year, nearly 500 volunteers provided service families at their homes in Athens County. Since the program began more than 10 years ago, Good Works has established relationships with nearly 60 families. We are especially focused on helping those who are older, widowed and experiencing disabilities, can no longer care for their property and cannot afford to pay someone to do the work for them. The tasks of the day range from mowing grass, raking leaves, cleaning, painting, home repairs and construction. For more information, email us, or contact Paul Richard at 740.594.3336. Individuals can also apply to participate with us in Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Volunteering as an individual requires an initial commitment of 10 weeks.
Interested in serving with Good Works on our properties or in the community through Neighbors Helping Neighbors? This is in an opportunity for individuals to come and experience a day of service to see what a regular commitment would be like.
Saturday Service is available in the fall and spring. Potential volunteers are invited to come once (from 8 am to noon or 8 am to 4 pm) without an application. To sign up for this opportunity, you must contact us by noon the Friday before you want to come. For more information, contact Paul Richard at 740.594.3336. This one-time opportunity does not provide any academic credit or hours for class requirements. For information about volunteering for academic credit or for community service hours, click here.
Good Works has more than 20 computers (primarily Macintosh and a few PC), two networks, and many routers (both wired and wireless). We are seeking volunteers who can assist us with troubleshooting both hardware and software issues on these devices. We also are seeking volunteers interested in evaluating and developing our web presence. If this is something you enjoy, let’s talk through your skills, interests and time availability. If you are able to give a few hours every week or so to assist us, please email us or contact Keith Wasserman at 740.541.0816.
We are looking for skilled individuals interested in making a three to seven minute video on one aspect of Good Works. If you would like to discuss this idea, please contact Keith Wasserman by email or at 740.541.0816.
Each month, we send out newsletters to the community and to those who support us financially. We are looking for volunteers to assist us with getting these newsletters into envelopes! Mailing volunteers often work alongside Transformation Station volunteers, which offers the opportunity for conversation and relationship building.
When we have an upcoming mailing project, we call or email volunteers to let them know the project date and time and they come based on their availability. Mailings take place at the Good Works Luhrig Road property and typically last three hours in the morning or afternoon. To put your name on a list to be informed of upcoming mailings, email us or call Sherilyn Weinkauf at 740.594.3339.
This is an opportunity for an individual to share a week with the Good Works community: living in the Good Works Hannah House, learning with our staff, and being with people who are struggling with poverty and who are without homes. Participants experience a wide range of contexts for service including the Timothy House, Neighbors Helping Neighbors and Friday Night Life. This is a flexible experience for anyone 16 or older and is free of cost. Participants are welcome throughout the year and especially during Summer Service. For more information, click here. To receive an application, contact Paul Richard at 740.594.3336 or email us.
Our fair-trade gift shop, Good Gifts, is located in the Administrative Offices on the Good Works Luhrig Road property. Operated through Ten Thousand Villages, this small business markets beautiful items made by artisans in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. This is an effort to allow our global neighbors to earn a just and vital income to sustain their communities. Good Gifts volunteers can assist in managing our inventory or be on call to run a one-day, off-site sales event in the community, often held on a Saturday or Sunday. Email us, or contact Paul Richard at 740.594.3336 for more information.
GOOD WORKS WALK: (formerly called the Walk for the Homeless) Raising awareness and funds for The Timothy House
The Timothy House is the only shelter for people without homes in eight southeast Ohio counties. The Good Works WALK is an annual community event to raise awareness of the reality of rural homelessness and generate support for the Timothy House. It is both educational and inspirational and includes participants of all ages. Held in Athens, the WALK leaves and returns to the First United Methodist Church on South College Street. The 2017 WALK will be held on Saturday, February 18th from 8:30 am to 1 pm. To learn more about the Good Works WALK, visit www.goodworkswalk.net
Click here to read a News article about the 2016 WALK
Opportunities to volunteer with the February 24th 2018 WALK:
- Do the WALK! Come, and encourage a group of friends to come!
- Find 10 people who will sponsor you for $10 each to raise a minimum of $100. Our goal is that 600 people will walk together and help us raise $60,000 for the operational costs of the Timothy House,
- Be a WALK CHEERLEADER! Promote the WALK through your church or community organization. Invite your friends to do the WALK and find sponsors.
- Help the staff of Good Works develop an educational experience for a group of 30 to 100 to learn about issues of justice, poverty and homelessness. Email us with your interest and ideas.
- Serve on the WALK Team for the 2018 WALK and help with WALK promotion, media, OU/Hocking College participation, public school involvement, church involvement, graphic design, and a wide range of other practical projects.
- WALK Internships are also available during the fall of 2017. To apply, contact Emily Axe by email or phone at 740.594.3339.
In partnership with The Plains United Methodist Church, we lead an everyday, educational club for children ages K- 6th grade. This opportunity is free of cost, and we are especially interested in including children who are experiencing the risks of poverty. Kids’ Discovery Club begins June 19th and ends August 4th, 2017. The day begins at 9am and concludes at 1pm with a hot, nutritious meal. The Summer Lunch is free and open to parents and community members.
We offer three volunteer opportunities:
- Volunteer with the Kids’ Discovery Club one or two days per week to assist the summer staff in leading activities and supervising the children. Volunteers are typically asked to commit to five out of seven weeks. For more information, email us or contact Emily Axe at 740.594.3339.
- Make a ONE-TIME, interactive presentation to the children at Kids’ Discovery Club on a topic you have knowledge and are passionate about. Previous topics include health care, animals, sports, nature and world cultures. For more information, email us or contact Emily Axe at 740.594.3339.
- HELP prepare food for 50 to 70 children and adults for Summer Lunch one or two days a week. Volunteers are typically asked to commit to five out of seven weeks. Contact us through e-mail or call 740.594.3339 if you can help with food.
ONE-TIME EFFORTS? Want to help from time to time but can’t make a regular commitment right now? You can:
- Purchase and deliver two gallons of milk, lunchmeat and cheese to the Timothy House once a week as often as you are able.
- Use your mechanical, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, or computer skills to assist with the maintenance of our properties.
- Volunteer to be “on-call” to offer your plumbing, electrical, carpentry, computer or graphic design skills on an as-needed basis.
- Email us to receive our most current Needs List and promote it within a church or organization you are part of.
- Organize a small group to do a food and supplies drive for Good Works.
- Volunteer to approach local restaurants and eating establishments to ask if they would donate excess food to Good Works. You would need to be willing to transport the food to one of the Good Works locations.
- Volunteer to pick up food from places in the community who are willing to donate it to Good Works.
- Promote our need for used vehicles in working condition for the Transformation Station among your family and friends.
- Offer to make a 20 to 30 minute presentation on a topic of your interest at Friday Night Life.
- Promote our annual Good Works WALK by handing out fliers to your friends and neighbors.
The Next Step…
If you would like to become a Good Works volunteer and serve in one of the areas described above, fantastic! The application process is as follows: come to one of our properties, meet our staff and receive a tour, fill out an application, and have a short interview.
Please call the appropriate contact person to set up a time to come to one of our properties. Those interested in volunteering out of the Timothy House receive a tour there. All others receive a tour of the Good Works Luhrig Road property. Coming to do a tour and meet with our staff is a prerequisite for receiving a volunteer application. Locations and directions will be provided when you call. Or, you can find a map to our locations here.
If you are interested in volunteering but are uncertain as to which opportunity fits you, feel free to email us or call our Administrative Office at 740.594.3339 to talk with one of our staff. We would be happy to discuss current opportunities with you.
Any volunteers seeking academic credit, community service hours, court-ordered community service or internship credit must request this in writing, in advance, through our application process. Unless you receive proper approval in advance, we cannot sign off on any volunteer hours. Credit for service is available for some, but not all, of our volunteer opportunities. Designated staff from Good Works will certify academic credit or hours after volunteers have completed the full volunteer commitment. For clarification on your particular situation, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Volunteer Application
Following your tour, you will be provided a Volunteer Application. You may fill it out on-site or take it home. The application generally takes about 30 minutes to complete. You will need to provide three personal references to complete the application, so you may want to bring phone and email addresses with you. Please ask your references permission for us to contact them, and tell them to expect a call from us. It takes about a week for Good Works staff to process a Volunteer Application.
The following information is provided to you on the Volunteer Application but we thought it might be helpful for you to read this now:
THANK YOU for your interest in serving as a volunteer with Good Works! Completing the application will provide information to help us determine where you might fit inside the Good Works Community of HOPE. We hope that you have already explored our website but if you haven’t, please visit it now and read the page called Volunteer Opportunities. In addition, read through our Community of HOPE brochure (available online or at our offices). Please complete all of this reading, along with the statement below about our philosophy and worldview, prior to answering the questions in this application.
The Philosophy and Worldview of Good Works
Good Works exists to connect people from all walks of life
with people in poverty so that the kingdom of God can be experienced.
Good Works is a faith-based Christian ministry and our vision is to create a loving Community of HOPE with people who are struggling with poverty and homelessness in rural Appalachia. Since 1981, we have been forming diverse contexts in which people in need can experience welcome, connect with a caring community, access practical assistance, and find ways they can use their gifts. The people we are especially focused on loving are men, women and children who are without homes, children experiencing the risks of poverty, and older adults who are widowed or have a disability.
As a community, we are motivated by the love of God: “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5). Our care for our neighbors in need is born from the overflow of Christ’s love and care for us. Half of our purpose is to come alongside people who are vulnerable by reaching out to them in practical service, and the other half is to provide an avenue for volunteers to serve with us. We believe that only a limited amount of education occurs in the classroom— the rest is obtained through the experience of associating, serving, loving, and knowing those in need. Our intent is to create opportunities that bring volunteers face-to-face with their neighbors, and in doing so, to encourage and inspire our volunteers towards growth.
As a Christian organization, our purpose is to worship God through loving our neighbors. With each person we serve, we desire to build relationships founded on love. We want to both demonstrate and communicate our faith. Therefore, we must: (1) Earn the right or permission to share our lives, values and convictions with those in need. (2) Through integrity, work to establish trust as the primary ingredient and foundation of all our relationships. (3) Recognize that whatever we have to say about our faith and our relationship with God comes in the context of what already exists inside each person we meet. (4) Use respect as the primary lens through which we conduct ourselves in every relationship.
Inside the worldview of Good Works are the following core concepts:
(1) As human beings seeking to grow, we need to serve others regardless of whether or not they are grateful.
(2) Under no circumstances do we believe it is loving for our staff or volunteers to take any form of abuse from those we are serving.
(3) All service requires some measure of sacrifice, and volunteers should expect to be challenged emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.
(4) The personal growth of our volunteers is equally important to us as the personal growth of the people we are serving.
(5) Where you as a volunteer meet the people that Good Works serves determines what kind of relationship you will have with them. If you meet them at a local restaurant, for example, Good Works will have a limited “voice” into how you conduct yourself. If you meet them through Good Works, we will expect you to listen and consider our guidance in your relationship. This means that we expect you to ask for input from your staff supervisor prior to exchanging contact information with or spending time with a recipient of a Good Works program outside of your volunteer setting. Recognizing the wisdom of those who served with Good Works for a long time is essential to being a volunteer.
Thank you for your desire to explore Good Works’ volunteer opportunities!
Good Works was established through volunteers, is supported by volunteers and sustained by volunteers. I was 22 years old and attending Ohio University when I started Good Works in the basement of my home, volunteering to provide a place to stay for people who were experiencing homelessness. During the first 4 years of Good Works, my wife and I worked jobs in the community and volunteered our time to build and sustain what we now call ” a community of hope”.
I hope you will consider making a commitment to associate, serve, love and know our neighbors struggling with poverty and homelessness here in rural Appalachia.
Love is a verb,
Founder and Executive Director