VOLUNTEER and DONOR FAQ's
How do we sign up to come?
As you start to prepare to come it is recommended that you have 2-3 different dates that might work for you or your team so that we can use one of those dates to schedule you or your team. Please register your group online at www.lutheranchurchcharities.org as soon as possible so we can lock in your date. Just follow the links on their web site for disaster response specifically for Joplin.
What days can we work?
We would prefer at this time that you schedule your work days anytime from Tuesday through Saturday using Sunday & Monday as either travel, fun days or for worship. This allows our staff and dedicated on-site volunteers to have some down time as well.
Can youth still serve in Joplin?
Yes. However our Habitat for Humanity partners do have age limits for the folks who are working on their projects. Habitat team members must be at least 18 years of age, 16 & 17 year olds may also participate if a parent is part of their team.
We will have a few projects where the Habitat age limits do not apply, please contact us if you have a team of youth who cannot fit into the Habitat guidelines and we will do the best we can to accommodate your team.
Is there any limit on the size of our group?
We are being challenged with finding suitable work for large groups (25 or more) so unless your team has extensive construction experience that will not need on-site team supervision we would appreciate you limiting your team to less than 15 people. Please contact me with any questions about this.
Where can we stay?
“Free” housing is still available at our sister congregation Good Shepherd Lutheran church in Carthage MO, which is about 15-20 minutes from Joplin. Good Shepherd is not charging any fees for hosting teams. However they would be happy to accept a donation to help offset their utility, staff and building maintenance costs. You will most likely be sleeping on air mattresses that you will need to bring with you. You also might have to travel to the local YMCA to take a shower if your group is large. There are two showers available at Good Shepherd. NOTE: GOOD SHEPHERD in CARTHAGE is PHASING OUT its BUNKHOUSE.
Are meals provided?
No, not at Good Shepherd, but there is a fully equipped commercial kitchen available for your use to prepare meals for your group if you choose to do that, or there are many local restaurants available who would love to serve you.
And Yes… for $20 per person - per night you can stay at Abundant Life church on the Northeast edge of Joplin and the fee includes three meals per day; Hot Breakfast, Sack Lunch and Hot Dinner. Also showers and dormitory type sleeping arrangements are available there.
What else will we need to bring with us?
Personal items, such as, sheets, towels, paper plates and the like will need to be brought with you if you are staying at Good Shepherd. The noon day meal can be either a packed lunch that can be eaten on the job site or you can chose to eat at one of many local fast food establishments near the damage zone.
Do we need to bring coolers?
Coolers can be provided, but we prefer that you bring your own if you are going to pack your meals. Please bring one cooler for each of your team vehicles in case your team is divided up and sent to different work sites.
Is there transportation available to the work sites?
Not at this time. Also please bring a GPS device (Garmin, Tom Tom etc..) for each of your team vehicles so that our staff doesn’t necessarily need to escort you to each work site.
What tools should we bring with us?
No need to bring tools. We have everything you would need. There will be tools available through our tool lending library that we have set up in our warehouse. Every effort will be made to have the special tools required to do specialized tasks. You are welcome to bring your personal tools but it is not necessary.
Is there any cost for this trip?
We are not charging a fee for this trip. However we will be happy to accept any donations you would offer to help offset our costs for building materials to build homes. Gift cards to Home Depot and/or Lowe’s are also very useful to us.
How much or what percentage of our donations will go to the work being done?
All of our overhead costs; warehouse rent, utilities, staff etc. have all been covered through the end of 2013 so any donations we receive should be used dollar for dollar to buy materials, tools and supplies to build homes.
Does Transform Joplin need anything else?
Not really. Please do NOT bring any donations of clothing, quilts, furniture, household items, medical supplies etc. without my knowledge and prior approval. All of these items were needed immediately after the event but are not needed at this time. While we appreciate your generosity, we do not have the long term storage space for these items.
Where do we go on the first day?
Our response office is now in a warehouse about a mile from the damage zone @ 1201 S. Wall St. in Joplin or the corner of 12th and Wall St. if that is easier for your GPS device to understand.
The morning of your first work day we will meet you there (8:15-8:30 AM unless instructed otherwise) to provide you with an orientation, tools, materials and to ensure there is no problem in getting to your jobsite(s).
What will we be doing while in Joplin?
The short answer is some type of construction work. Almost all of the demolition, debris removal and clean up has been done. The focus now is on helping home owners with damaged or destroyed homes repair or rebuild. We need every type of construction related skill.
We have developed a very close working relationship with the Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity chapter and so a large portion of our construction projects will be working on Habitat Homes. We have committed to assisting them build at least 65 homes in 2012 and at least 25 homes are currently scheduled for 2013.
Do you need any specialized skills?
Licensed plumbers, electricians, drywall finishers and HVAC installers are in extremely short supply so please encourage them to come and put their talents to work.
How “skilled” do we need to be?
Construction skills are NOT required to participate on this mission trip, but we do need at least a few of your team members to have experience so that they can help give direction to those without experience.
When you fill out the Individual Volunteer Application please be as accurate as possible, how you rate yourself in the skill categories will determine which jobs that your team is placed on. If you under estimate your skills you will likely be bored and your talent wasted. If you over estimate your skills you will find yourself “over your head’ very quickly and possibly causing us to have to do rework which will delay one of our families from returning home as soon as they possibly can.
What is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to bring to Joplin?
The most important thing to bring with you and your group will be flexibility and patience.
We would like to schedule the mission trips as soon as possible so we know what our calendar is going to look like. Thank-you for your interest in serving with Transform Joplin Inc. and your patience as we schedule your mission trip. Volunteers are Jesus’ hands, feet and face in the time of need and a true blessing and miracle to the homeowners who have suffered loss from the Joplin tornado.
When you're ready to volunteer, click here.
All volunteer registrations are handled through our partner organization, "Lutheran Church Charities."