Have questions about volunteering for Transform Week? Check here for your answers!
How do I sign-up to volunteer?
Please complete our online registration form (check back in early 2023 for a link). Be sure to list any special skills you might have (you don’t need to be a professional — even DIY-level skills are super helpful for us to know).
What kinds of projects are part of Transform Week?
Projects could include carpentry, painting, landscaping, plumbing, replacing windows/doors, roofing, flooring, plastering, concrete work, cleaning, and more.
Do I need to have carpentry or other special skills to participate?
Special skills aren’t required but we value the skills you bring. We’ll work to connect volunteers with projects that match their skill level and experience, and no one will be expected to do work that they’re not comfortable with. If you have DIY-level or higher skills in something, please indicate so on your volunteer registration form (check back in early 2023 for a link). This information is very helpful for us as we match people with projects and figure out how many complex projects we an take on.
What will my project be?
Our project schedule changes throughout the week depending on the weather, what work prior volunteers are able to get done each day, and other factors, so we won’t know for sure what your project will be until the morning of your volunteer day. For this reason we have all volunteers meet at the Groundswell event space, next to the Matthew 25 offices (201 Third Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids) so we can communicate about the projects that day. If you’re part of a volunteer group, it’s possible that your project will be pre-assigned, so talk with your group leader to find out. If you’re a group leader that would like to be matched with a project in advance, contact Aaron at 319-200-2782 or email@example.com to see if that will be possible.
Can I bring a group of volunteers?
Yes, however each person in your group (including minors) must register individually so we have a record of their emergency contact information, t-shirt size, dietary restrictions, etc. Have everyone indicate on their registration form which company, church or organization you’re affiliated with so we know who is a part of your group. Please also encourage everyone to indicate what skills they might have, as that will help us determine what project might be a good fit for your group.
How does a group participate?
There are a few different ways that groups will participate:
• The most basic is just signing up for whatever days people are available and getting dispatched to the projects most in need of help those days.
• The next level is to coordinate with your group and sign up for the same time slot. Full day commitments are greatly preferred, but half days are possible. Depending on group size and skills, some groups will be pre-assigned to a project and others will determine their project on the morning of their volunteer day.
• The coordination level that is most exciting is taking ownership of a project. This typically requires one team member committing to at least 3-4 days and 5-20 additional members. For example, in the past we’ve had groups of 5-10 rebuild a porch or larger groups that have replaced all of the windows in a house. If your group would be interested in this, please let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can discuss further and consider some possible projects. This is a big commitment but it creates a huge impact for the homeowner and has been a very good bonding experience for the groups who have done it.
How long is the work day? Can I volunteer for part of a day?
Work days generally run from 8:30 am-3:30 pm with a break for lunch. We very much prefer that volunteers work a whole day, as that helps greatly with our planning, however we can accommodate half-day shifts — just please indicate that you only plan to work AM or PM in the comments section of your volunteer registration form (check back in early 2023 for a link).
Are meals provided?
Lunch is provided every day from 12 – 1 PM at the Groundswell event space, next to the Matthew 25 offices (201 Third Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids). We will also have a short reflection each day at 12:30 for those that want to participate.
Are snacks provided?
Every project will have a bag of snacks and a water cooler available.
What should I wear?
We recommend you wear closed-toe shoes, long sleeves, and long pants. Other safety clothing such as goggles, hard hats, and gloves will be provided.
Do I need to bring tools?
We will provide all necessary tools. If you have tools of your own, please bring them to help supplement our tools.
Will there be water?
Please bring a water bottle. A water refill station will be available at each job site.
Will there be restrooms?
We have restrooms at Groundswell and the Matthew 25 offices where people will gather each morning and for lunch (201 Third Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids). There will also be port-a-potties within walking distance of the job sites.
What is the minimum age for volunteering?
There is no set minimum age, however children and youth age 15 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who will be working at the same project site and can provide adequate supervision. Youth age 16 and 17 can come without a parent or guardian, but must have their liability waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian. Note that youth under age 16 cannot be on ladders or use power tools.
Can I bring a youth group?
Yes — for youth groups with middle school students we require 1 adult for every 4 students, and for high school students we require 1 adult for every 6 students. Any children younger than middle school must have 1 adult for every student. All children and youth under age 18 must have a liability waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian. We cannot put anyone under age 16 on ladders or let them use power tools, so youth groups will likely be doing general neighborhood clean-up activities like painting, landscaping, or trash pick-up.
Where should I go?
Start your day at the Groundswell event space, 201 Third Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids. If you are working more than one day at the same project, please come to Groundswell on your first day and then you can go straight to your project site on subsequent days.
When should I arrive?
8:30 AM for full-day and morning shifts, 12:30 PM for afternoon shifts.
How do I get a t-shirt?
You need to register as a volunteer before May 31 to be guaranteed a t-shirt. After that, the remainder of the t-shirts will be given to volunteers on a first-come, first-served basis (based on when they registered).
Do I need to sign a waiver?
Every volunteer will be required to sign a liability waiver and photo release. You can print it and bring it with you or sign it when you arrive. Anyone under age 18 will need to have their waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian.
What will we do if it rains?
There will be both indoor and outdoor projects. Outdoor projects that can be safely done in the rain will continue as planned. If it’s unsafe or impractical to do certain outdoor projects or tasks in the rain, we will move those volunteers to an indoor project. Our project schedule has some flexibility, so we’ll be watching the weather throughout the week and will shuffle projects if necessary – moving indoor projects to any day where bad weather is expected and outdoor projects to better weather days.
Where will my project be?
All projects will be in the Taylor or Time Check neighborhoods on the west side of Cedar Rapids. Most will be assigned on the morning of your volunteer day because projects are in flux throughout the week depending on weather, the skill sets of volunteers each day, the amount of work accomplished by prior volunteer groups, etc. Please report to the Groundswell event space (201 Third Ave. SW) on your volunteer day to receive your project assignment.
How do I get to my project site? Will we be bussed?
Depending on where your project site is, you’re welcome to walk, carpool or drive your car to your site after morning check-in at the Groundswell event space, 201 Third Ave. SW. We won’t have bussing.
Do I need to return to Matthew 25 at the end of the work day?
No, you’re welcome to leave directly from your project site at the end of the day. Group leaders or site leaders will need to check in to make sure the home is left in good condition for the night, and one person from the group should return snacks and water to the urban farm at the end of each day.
Can I bring more volunteers?
Last-minute volunteers are welcome! Have them fill out the online registration form (check back in early 2023 for a link).
What COVID-19 precautions will there be during Transform Week?
Matthew 25 will be following the most up-to-date guidelines from the CDC regarding COVID-19. Currently, masks are not required but encouraged for unvaccinated individuals.