Hi, everyone! As we begin recruiting volunteers for the work we’ve lined up to accomplish this year on Saturday, April 27, we wanted to provide easy answers to some of the most-frequently-asked questions we’ve gotten in the past.


Individual/Family Registration Now Open:


How can I make sure I am assigned to serve alongside other people I know?

If you want to serve with your family members, with a group of friends, or your small group, the easiest way to ensure you get assigned to the same work site is:

  1. As you fill out the Registration Form, answer YES to the question, “Are you intending to work as part of a small group or with specific individuals (like family members)?”
  2. Have every person in your group (or family) use the exact same group name for the next entry field: “If you selected ‘Yes,’ please enter the name of the group (this should be the last name of one person in your group, NOT your church name).”
    • Note: We can’t possibly stress enough the importance of using the exact same group name to ensure accurate placement.

Hint: When choosing your group name, choose the most unique last name to ensure we don’t get multiple groups of the same name. For example, “Timberlake” would work better than “Smith.” Alternatively, you can get creative! Rather than a last name, give your group a memorable moniker. As long as everyone uses the same name, we’ll be sure to assign you together.

Can I choose a specific location to serve?

Kind of. 🙂 If your church is leading a specific site and they have recruited you to help there, please note that on your sign-up registration and we will place you there with others in your congregation.

Or, if you have a strong preference for where you want to serve, please sign up first, and then email us at [email protected] and let us know that you would really like to be assigned to a specific serving site. We will try to accommodate everyone’s requests, but each serving site needs a limited number of volunteers. If you sign up early, you are more likely to get your preferred serving site.

How long do I serve?

Volunteers can sign up to serve a morning shift – 9 a.m. to noon; an afternoon shift – 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; or all day, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If I serve all day…what about lunch?

All volunteers are invited to join others for lunch at noon! Volunteers serving all day will be given a break in the workday to eat. Morning-only volunteers are encouraged to stay for lunch after they have finished serving. Afternoon volunteers can join their team at noon to eat, and be ready and energized to serve beginning at 1 p.m.

What if I sign up then realize I need to change something?

That’s no problem. If you sign up then decide you want to update anything about your registration, just email us at [email protected], and let us know. The one thing we ask that you NOT do is sign up again with new information. That can get confusing; with over 2,000 volunteers to place, you may end up being asked to be in two places at the same time!

So…when in doubt, just email us at [email protected].

Can my kids serve alongside me?

We encourage families to serve together! Many serving sites are great for families with elementary-aged kids. However, some are not.

If you want to serve with your kids, sign them up with you and we will automatically place you at a serving site that is appropriate for kids your age. Additionally, we have noted whether or not the serving site is appropriate for younger kids on our Serving Sites web page. Click on a specific serving site to see if we have deemed it a family-friendly location.

For children younger than five years old, we really encourage you to consider signing your kiddos up for childcare, offered on our day of serving from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at The Crossing. The childcare providers have all gone through background checks and are vetted, capable individuals. Even the little ones in childcare will get an opportunity to serve others, by helping create a craft that will then be given to veterans coming out of homelessness and living at Welcome Home.

How can I be most helpful to this effort?

Okay, so this isn’t a frequently-asked question. But it’s one we’d love to get asked, and so we’ll answer it! It’s really helpful to us when people:

  1. sign up early;
  2. sign up to serve all day, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.;
  3. are willing to serve wherever they are needed; and
  4. are clear about the work they are capable of; e.g. paint, clean/organize, work in gardens, etc.

We are grateful for all of our #ForColumbia2019 volunteers, of course, particularly when you show flexibility in your desire to love and serve your neighbors. We appreciate everyone who helps us love our community!

Have a question we didn’t answer? We’d love to help! Email us at [email protected].