Your Commitment to an Alternative Spring Break Work Retreat

Good Works volunteer opportunities are designed to be dependent on the commitment of people to come and serve. We want to move each group along the continuum from “I want to serve” to “I am going to serve.” As you begin the process of planning for your group to come, willingness translates into commitment and we plan accordingly. In other words, the people that we plan for you to serve and the projects you will do are based not on your willingness to come, but on your commitment to come. For that commitment we are grateful. We cannot do this work apart from your commitment to come and serve.

We have also discovered that personal growth does not happen apart from commitment. We can say that we want to learn how to love and serve our neighbors, but until we actually make a commitment to do so, we will not grow in this area of our lives. Commitment places pressure on us to make the necessary changes and as a result we grow. As you commit to a Work Retreat, it will be a catalyst for growth in everyone involved in this time of service.

For most ASB groups, we find there are about 15 people who will be coming, though we are open to considering larger groups. Whatever number of people will be coming, we will provide leadership to the group and plan accordingly.

This will include service to individuals and families with Neighbors Helping Neighbors. We will be making specific arrangements with our neighbors who are struggling with poverty, age and disability to have volunteers available on a certain day for the project for which they have requested help. This will be based on the commitment of your group. For a group of 20 people to show up with only 5 people creates a significant problem for the individual or family to whom we have made a commitment. The opposite is also true. To plan for only five people and show up with 25 means that it will be difficult to find meaningful projects for people on such short notice. If the size of your group will be significantly different from the information you provide on the Team Profile, please let us know as soon as possible before your scheduled arrival rather than showing up with less or more people than you had originally anticipated. We expect changes in the make up of your group, but we would like for you to inform us of those changes.

If it becomes necessary for you to cancel, please consult with us first. Maybe there is some adjustment that we can make so you can keep your commitment. Having fewer people is better than having no one come. We want you to come and we want to do all that we can to make that possible. People have trusted us with their need and we are trusting you to help us meet that need.

Q & A

What does Good Works do to plan for our group to be with you?
When a group makes a commitment to be with us, we do some extensive planning to make sure that we use your time well. We develop a schedule that will maximize the skills of your group with the needs that we have. We consider ourselves stewards of your time and we intend to use the gift of your time wisely.

First, we will decide who you will serve and what projects you will be working on. Then we plan accordingly. What equipment will we need? What materials will be needed and when will it get here? Do we have all the tools we need or should the group bring some of their own tools? We do this to make sure that when you get here the project is ready to go.

This may involve the purchase of materials. We do not want to waste time getting these while you are here. We will also make sure you have the right equipment available to complete the project. Sometimes this means renting the equipment that will be needed.
For Neighbors Helping Neighbors, we are making arrangements with a person you will be serving. We specifically ask them to be present during the project. They have also made plans to have materials available. They are arranging their schedule so that you can help them with their need.

We carefully plan staff schedules so there will be adequate leadership present on the day you come to serve. There will be 3-4 staff and interns who are committing themselves to be with you on the day of your Work Retreat.

If it does not work out, we can just cancel and reschedule for another week, can’t we?
It is not that simple on our side. Please consult with us before you decide to cancel. We are willing to make some adjustments to make it possible for you to keep your commitment to us. A Work Retreat is planned on the premise that volunteers will be serving with us. These things do not get done when a group decides to not come. Rescheduling a group is difficult because we have often made commitments to other groups.

Can’t you just get another group to help you?
Not very often. Because we have made a commitment to you for a specific day, we have turned other groups away. The amount of time required by a group to successfully plan something like this cannot be done in a short amount of time. We are very grateful for the large number of volunteers who come to us in groups. But when a group cancels, it means we have a week available for which we have turned away an estimated 30-60 people from 3-5 groups who inquired about coming on the same day you committed to coming.

Thanks for keeping your commitment to us.

It really means a lot.

Your commitment makes a difference!