Four years ago, our student ministries started a community service day with a fund raiser piece to it. Initially, it was a way for us to support our church building fund. Then it became part fundraiser for kids at camp.
This year it involved a used goods sale on site (swap meet), an onsite car wash, and yard work in people's homes all over our county.
So, Saturday, May 15, 2010 we worked all day for the fourth year in a row and we raised $10,102 for student ministries. More than we have ever raised before.
These days are always a lot of work and I've learned a few things along the way. Here's some thoughts from this year.
- LISTENING TO VOLUNTEER FEEDBACK PAID OFF HUGE. We have always done work in people's yards as part of this day. This has always been hit or miss. Some jobs will break your back and some are really easy. Some people pay you well and some people well... don't. One change this year came after last year one of my men came back from a grueling 4 hour job all afternoon with a trailer full of yard waste, sore muscles, a tired team, and $50. He said two things to me in response. #1. We need to be done with these projects by like 3pm, not 5pm. #2. We need a suggested minimum price. So, I listened and this year jobs were scheduled to end by 2:30pm and we added a suggested minimum of $150 for a 2 hour team job. The result? We raised over $5000 in yard work alone, had a lot happier teams, and a much better experience. Yeah for the wisdom of great feedback!
- WHEN THERE'S A REAL NEED, REAL LEADERS STEP UP. One of my biggest encouragements of the day came from one family that heard my yard work jobs went from 9 to 24 in just one day, only 7 days from our work day. When I called to ask if their son could help me, they said that it was mom's birthday and they were going to the beach to use a jet ski gift certificate that was due to expire soon. I said, "happy birthday mom, enjoy your family". An hour later I got a call saying the whole family has decided to start the day serving instead. So for Mom's birthday, they put on gloves and served a family at our church that has been fighting cancer and has some real yard work needs for 2 hours. I was so blown away by their servant leadership. My hat goes off to the Anderson family. What a blessing.
- A BIG JOB CAN'T BE DONE WITH OUT BIG HELP. Last year I bit off way more than I could chew... even more than our student ministries team could chew on our own. This year, we sought out help from the larger congregation to serve with our student ministries for this day. The result? LOTS MORE HELP and a GREAT first serve opportunity for many of our people. They helped gathering swap meet items, serve on yard work teams, set up and clean up our swap meet, make phone calls.... and so much more. About 100 middle school, high school, and college students stepped up. Adult volunteers stepped up. When it was all said and done and all the money was counted, my body was seriously tired and my soul seriously encouraged by how a BIG job can become achievable when a GREAT TEAM steps up to the challenge.