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 projects we plan for you 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.
During the months of September through May, the number of people who can come with your group is up to the leadership of your group. Good Works can handle a group of 5-15 people comfortably. However, we make plans on the basis of the number of people you have told us are coming, whether 5 people or 30 people. This will include service to individuals and families in Neighbors Helping Neighbors. We will be making specific arrangements with our low-income neighbors to have volunteers available on a certain day for the project they need to have completed. This will be based on the commitment of your group. For a group of 20 people to show up with only 5 people, or to cancel, creates a significant problem for an individual or family, since we will not be able to serve everyone we had planned to with a group of five people. If the size of your group will be different from your original projections, please let us know at least a week in advance or as soon as possible before your scheduled arrival rather than showing up with less than you had originally anticipated.
If it becomes necessary for you to cancel, please consult with us first. Maybe there is some adjustment that we can make that will 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 here, 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 what projects you will be working on and 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.
As far as staffing goes, we are adjusting our regular schedules because your involvement with us is important. There will be 3-4 staff and interns who are committing themselves to be with you on the day you are volunteering with us.
If it does not work out, we can just cancel and reschedule for another day, 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. Our volunteer opportunities are built on the premise that volunteers will be here to help with whatever we have planned. These things do not get done when a volunteer group decides to not come. Rescheduling a group is difficult because we have often made commitments to others 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 day available for which we have turned away an estimated 25-50 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.