FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About #ForColumbia2016

#ForColumbia2016What is ForColumbia about?
ForColumbia is an initiative to bring Christians from all over Columbia together to love and serve our city. This year, 34 churches have partnered together to complete service projects in dozens of locations all over our community.

Do you give me a project and then I sign up under that project?
No, you sign up first and then find out what project you will be assigned to. The sign-up process gives you an opportunity to tell us what you kind of experience you have/skill sets you can offer. Once you sign up, we will place you at a project site that matches your availability and your skills.

If I sign up to serve, where will I be? What will I be doing?
Volunteers may be working at one of many non-profits around the city, painting, doing landscape work or light construction projects. They may also be working in residents’ yards – raking leaves, planting bushes, picking up trash in the area. When you sign up, you have the opportunity to tell us what you’re good at or what you like to do – work outside doing yard work, painting, cooking, etc. The ForColumbia team will use that information to place you wherever your experience/skill set best seem to fit you. However, if you know of a place where we’ll be serving and you really want to serve there, let us know that and we’ll do our best to place you there.

Boys and Girls Clubs of ColumbiaDo I need to bring my own supplies?
Once you have been assigned to a project site, you will receive an email letting you know what you need to bring with you. Some projects may not require you to bring anything, while others may ask you to bring gardening tools or work gloves if you have them. But even if you don’t own any tools, don’t worry; we’ll also have extras on hand.

I’m not really good at building…do you still need people like me?
Yes! There are lots of different ways people can serve! We need people to help deliver lunches, help with administrative needs at larger sites, put gift packs together for several non-profit organizations, and many other things.

How do I sign up?
Go to forcolumbia.org and click on the Volunteer tab. Or you can just go directly to our online sign-up form.

BillieWhat if I want to work with a friend or small group?
Great! We encourage that! When you sign up, note under Group Name if you have someone you want to serve with. If 10 members of your small group want to serve together, we encourage you to choose one name – perhaps your small group leader’s name – and have everyone put the same name in. This will make it easy for us to identify all of you and ensure you are assigned to the same project site.

Can I sign up my entire family, and bring my kids to serve too?
Yes! We do encourage families with young children to use the available childcare provided at The Crossing on Saturday, April 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. In fact, childcare will be provided for all children, infants through 5th grade. However, if your elementary school children want to serve with you, sign yourself and your children up and link yourselves by using Group Name (Example: “Baker Family”). This will make it easy for us identify all of you and assign you to the same project site. We will place families at family-friendly serving sites.

What if I sign up and then find out I can’t serve?
You simply need to email us at info@forcolumbia.com.

Coyote HillWhat if I can’t serve all day on Saturday, April 23?
That’s okay! You can serve for a few hours in the morning, or a few hours in the afternoon. Even if your time is limited, we can use you somewhere.

What if I can’t serve on Saturday, April 23rd at all?
That’s okay! We need people the week of April 18-22 to do prep work for all the big projects over the weekend. You can help put door hangers on the homes where we’ll be working, reminding them that we’ll be working in their yard. You can help power-wash decks and wheelchair ramps in preparation for being stained on the 23rd. You can be a part of a limited number of serving opportunities on Friday evening the 22nd. Or you can cook a meal or bake goodies and deliver them to the police station, a local fire station or the Public Works department. Let us know what you can do and when you’re available, and we’ll find something so you can be a part of ForColumbia this year.

So what’s the deal with the green shirts and the blue shirts?
Green shirts will be worn by site leaders and others who have helped coordinate this citywide event. Blue shirts will be given to all the volunteers that work the actual event. This is so that if you have questions or aren’t sure what to do next, you can easily identify someone who should know the answers to your questions simply by finding someone in a green shirt! Most (if not all) project sites should have at least one person wearing a green shirt.

Planting FlowersIs this event “a Crossing thing?”
No, this is a 34-area-churches thing. ForColumbia’s leadership team is made up of individuals from seven different churches, working together to make this event a success for everyone who participates. The leadership team is taking advantage of Crossing resources – this blog, for instance! – to help get the word out. We are also promoting this in various ways at other churches using their resources.

Why are we working in the First Ward?
We love serving the organizations in our community who strive to help people all year long in many ways, but we also wanted to make more personal connections with our neighbors. The city has identified certain areas of our city that are struggling more than others and need assistance. We chose to work within one of those identified areas as a way of partnering with what our city government is trying to do, and we’ve met an incredible number of people in that relatively-small area who really will be greatly blessed by your gift of time and energy that day on their behalf.

How can I participate on social media?
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can more actively participate in social media by:
1. Liking our posts.
2. Sharing #ForColumbia2016 posts on your timeline or feed.
3. Commenting on posts.
4. Create your own post and please tag us using our #ForColumbia2016 hashtag.
5. Invite your friends to “Like” or “React” to ForColumbia pages and postings.

THANK YOU to everyone who is partnering with us this year to love and serve our city! Please join me and the #ForColumbia2016 team in praying for two days of sunny, work-friendly weather on April 22nd and 23rd!

Jeremiah 29:7
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

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