Transform Week FAQ
Do you have questions about volunteering for Transform Week with Matthew 25? Check out some of our frequently asked questions below, and if you still need help, send us a message or call the Matthew 25 office at 319-362-2214.
How do I sign-up to volunteer?
Please complete our online registration form (check back in early 2024 to register). Be sure to list any special skills you might have. You don’t need to be a professional to volunteer — DIY-level skills or just the ability to learn are helpful!
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 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 2024 to register). This information is very helpful for us as we match people with projects and figure out how many complex projects we can work on.
What will my project be?
Our project schedule changes throughout the week depending on the weather, the work prior volunteers are able to complete each day, and other factors, so often 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, located next to the Matthew 25 offices at 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 our housing team at 319-200-2782 or send us a message. We cannot guarantee prior project matching, but will work with groups on an individual basis.
Can I bring a group of volunteers?
Yes, however each person in your group (including minors) must register individually (check back in early 2024 to register) so we have a record of their emergency contact information, t-shirt size, dietary restrictions, and other information. Each registrant should indicate on their registration form (check back in early 2024 to register) which company, church or organization your group is 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 way for your group to participate is by signing up for the days your group members 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 days. Please indicate your group on your registration form (check back in early 2024 to register). 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 engaging for your group 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 on a house. If your group would be interested in this, please let us know by sending us a message and we can discuss possible projects. This is a big commitment but it creates a huge impact for the homeowner and provides a great bonding experience for the groups.
How long is the work day? Can I volunteer for part of a day?
Full work days run from 8:30 am to around 3:30 pm with a break for lunch. We prefer volunteers to work the whole day, however we can accommodate half-day shifts. Please indicate that you only plan to work AM or PM in the comments section of your volunteer registration form (check back in early 2024 to register).
Are meals provided?
Lunch is provided every day from noon-1 pm at the Groundswell Event Space, located next to the Matthew 25 Offices at 201 Third Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids. We will also have a short reflection each day at 12:30 pm for those that want to participate.
Are snacks provided?
Every project site 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, however you’re welcome to bring your own gloves or safety gear if you would prefer.
Do I need to bring tools?
We will provide all necessary tools. However, 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 the Groundswell Event Space and the Matthew 25 offices, both located at 201 Third Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids, where people will gather each morning and for lunch. There will also be port-a-potties within walking distance of most job sites.
What is the minimum age for volunteering?
There is no set minimum age, however 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 ahead of time by a parent or legal guardian. Note that youth under age 18 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 register individually (check back in early 2024 to register) and have a liability waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian ahead of time. We cannot put anyone under age 18 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, located at 201 Third Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids. If you are working more than one day, please meet at Groundswell each morning for project assignments and general information about that day’s activities. We will have coffee and water available each morning during check-in.
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 (check back in early 2024 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, and the amount of work accomplished by prior volunteer groups. Please report to the Groundswell Event Space, located at 201 Third Ave. SW, on your volunteer day to check in and receive your project assignment.
How do I get to my project site? Will there be transportation?
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. We will not have transportation.
Do I need to return to Matthew 25 at the end of the work 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 will need to return snacks and water to Matthew 25 at the end of each day so they can be filled and used again the next day. Besides these tasks, most volunteers can leave from their project sites at the end of their work day.
Can I bring more volunteers?
Last-minute volunteers are welcome! Have them fill out the online registration form (check back in early 2024 to register), or come to the Groundswell Event Space by 8:30 am on the day they wish to volunteer. Paper sign-up sheets and waivers will be available.
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.
Didn’t see the answer to your question? Give us a call at 319-362-2214 or send us a message.