Community service (the good kind)
Anyone out there involved with any kind of service projects? Pickin’up trash, painting, repairing, etc… homes for folks goin’ through hard times? I’d like to volunteer my time, and pay my help to participate in something like this, maybe just a day or two per year. We’re in a small community and I think we could be impactful. I’m sure, however, that there are lots of things to consider before jumpin’ in. I’d really appreciate any feedback on this.Thanks.
If there is a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in your area call them. There is always a need for skilled (& semi skilled) volunteers.
*Machine:There is an organization which sounds like it's right up your alley - Christmas in April. http://www.christmasinapril.orgThey do a once-a-year fixup for people who have homes, but can't afford work on them. Check out the site. Around here, Americares works with them, and they get skilled and semiskilled people for the one day, probably could use help during the year with planning, site visits for checking out potential jobs, etc.Your ambition is a great one. Hope this helps. Rich.
*How about a FixUp Day? Pick a project that can be done in the time you want to devote to community service and do it. This can be painting, repairing a house, adding handicap ramps, whatever.This makes it "Your Project" that everyone can take pride in doing from start to finish.Check around in your community. Bet you find some church group or senior service group that can turn you on to worthwhile projects.
*You've gotten some great ideas from Rob, Rich, and Fred! Please keep us posted about what you decide.BTW, you will likely be able to get great publicity for your business--be sure to send the local papers, etc., a press release before and after you decide to do the work.
*This may not be exactly what you're looking for, but...Every year our senior high church youth group participates in a mission trip sponsored by Group Workcamp in Colorado (check the web page). Group works with local agencies a year or two in advance to identify homes that need help. When the time comes, youth groups from many churches spend a week in the local high school and work on the houses. Everything is geared toward high school labor, and usually includes replacing decks and handicap ramps, painting inside & out, replacing sheetrock, etc. No project lasts more than a week. The impact on the community and the homeowners is fantastic. Totally non-denominational. When you arrive your group is broken up into other teams so you usually don't have anyone on your team that you know. Usually one adult and 5 kids, so not only are you helping the homeowners, you're helping usually construction-challenged teenagers lean something. Very rewarding exoerince.As an alternate, check with the pastor of a local church and see if they know of a family that could use a little help, such as a handicap ramp or repainting the outside of the house or similar.
*Well, after I poste that I thought a little more. The Group Workcamp thing may not be what you're looking for, since you would not get to work as a team, and after reading your original message again, that's what it sounds like you're looking for. Anyway, a little more info for those that are interested...There are usually about 4 workcamps going on during the same week, and there are about 8 weeks during the summer that have sessions, so (a little math here) there are about 32 workcamps to select from each summer. Our church usually takes one of the largest groups: 45-50 kids and 8-10 adults. Most churches take about 20-30 people total. We went to Blytheville Ark (NE corner) last year, and there was a 'group' from SW Houston that consisted of a father and son. They fit in real well, so size doesn't matter
*I've really got involved with Habitat for Humanity. I spend about 20-32 hours a month working in partnership with the future homeowners. Great feeling knowing that they are hammering right there with you and just not waiting for the check to come in.I've also just completed a week in Georgia working on the Jimmy Carter Work Project. Built a house in a week and met a great group of people (tribal chief from Ghana, gentleman from South Africa, etc.). Check it out - http://www.habitat.orgMartinPS - Don't get turned off by the "Christian" aspect. Take only what you need and leave the rest.
*Here we have a local organization like HfH, called "Housing Partnerships". Lots of meaningful projects with plenty of support from the community. Weekend before last, our local Code Compliance Inspectors did a project. We're all into this.But here's the real kicker: Our Community Builders' Association is overseeing the construction of a "Hospice House" to be built for the care of those who, bluntly, have no place to die. After a successful fund-raising campaign, we're getting donations of labor and materials from fellow contractors and from local and national suppliers to minimize the cost of construction. When we get our web page up, I'm gonnal share it with y'all.Want to help on a smaller scale? Contact your local United Way office. Tell 'em what your skills are and that you'd like to do something meaningful. I'll bet they'll find something for you!Good luck, and thanks for caring... Steve
*I've done a larger water heater for the local women's shelter (they kept running out). Volunteers from local businesses come in to "adopt a room" - paint it, update the furnishings, etc. I'm currently working with the local blood bank which is setting up to process and store blood locally instead of sending it all out. So they're getting lots of equipment in a suite that is already too hot for some donors. So I'm building a water-cooled air conditioner for about a tenth of what someone quoted a traditional HVAC freon-based system. (We have unmetered 40F city water here).Any non-profit would love to have a building professional available. Either for the little jobs that come up, the occasional larger project, or just to steer them in the right direction regarding selection of contractors and what a fair price is for the work. Red Cross, senior center, boys and girls club, mental health clinic, conservation land trust, homeless shelter, food bank, community theater, etc. Anyone who owns or rents building space.
Your suggestions are truly appreciated. I'm really glad I added this discussion. I will post an update as to the direction taken, it may be awhile though, I've got a lot a phone calls to make!
I've always thought we all need to eventually give something back. All of my help is young (20's), and as I stated earlier, I'll pay 'em to participate in something like this...to expose 'em to it. Then, maybe, the "warm fuzzy" might take over?
I see so many homes with REAL problems, I can't fix 'em all, I don't know if the owners are aware, or even care. I can't go door to door. I guess that's why I'm asking where to start. Again, thanks for the input. Got anymore?
Anyone out there involved with any kind of service projects? Pickin'up trash, painting, repairing, etc... homes for folks goin' through hard times? I'd like to volunteer my time, and pay my help to participate in something like this, maybe just a day or two per year. We're in a small community and I think we could be impactful. I'm sure, however, that there are lots of things to consider before jumpin' in. I'd really appreciate any feedback on this.Thanks.