Volunteers, Joy, Doughnuts and Pizza
“We have learned over the years that without volunteers there’s no way we can get projects completed. And not just skilled volunteers but every kind of volunteer. No matter what your skill level is. Actually, over the years my unskilled levels have moved to a much more skilled level by working with Restoration Now.” – Scott Lowe
Every organization says “our volunteers are the greatest”. At Restoration Now, we mean it. We have truly been blessed with the best volunteers – the right people at just the right time. A countless number of people have graciously offered their time and talents over the years. The change affected in our community could never have been so without all of the help given through donations, materials, and our volunteers taking the initiative to show up.
Regardless of skill level there will always be room on the Restoration Now team for any and all volunteers. For this post, I took the initiative to contact some of our frequent volunteers and asked them a few questions about their experience with us. The opening quote from Scott Lowe (above) tells of his fondness for RNow and the value of volunteers on community impact. During our brief interview he also shared that he now keeps a Restoration Now toolbox in his car to always be prepared for a project!
Restoration Now and the individuals that it helps are not the only ones who benefit from the volunteers. The volunteers themselves often benefit greatly from the experience (and I’m not just talking about the doughnuts and pizza). Another volunteer, Darris Stauffer, believes that the relationships that are built during these projects are a wonderful aspect of the volunteering experience. People who have never had the chance to get to know one another suddenly working side by side for a good cause creates a “togetherness” that is equally as beautiful as the homes they create.
Pictures of Scott Lowe working on Restoration Now project.
While we cannot all be Scott Lowe’s and have a dedicated toolbox in our car for home repairs, we do recognize that volunteering and donating is rewarding and yet also a sacrifice. Even when we see the value in what others are doing and know there is an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than us (regardless of skill set) it is not always easy to propel ourselves into action. If it is a seemingly uncomfortable situation or you don’t have previous experience in home repair, nerves and anxiety can control whether or not we show up, and if we do make the effort they can control our mood and actions once we arrive. At RNow, we believe everyone has something to offer, but of course you shouldn’t just take our word for it. Another friend of RNow, Darris Stauffer, shared this:
“Having no particular skills in home repair, I typically dread showing up to the worksite. But that dread is quickly erased when I get to the site and begin doing something. Making a contribution feels great no matter how small. At the end of the day, week, or project, I can look back and see that I played a part in helping someone’s situation change.” – Darris Stauffer.
Finding a way to push yourself outside your comfort zone and learn new things while also bringing someone else joy, as Darris describes, is a truly rewarding aspect of the volunteering experience. Having volunteered myself on occasion, I can attest to both statements. Without Restoration Now projects I’d probably still be blindly operating power saws and painting against the grain! However, despite my obvious lack in construction skills, I have always been welcomed and appreciated on the worksite and in turn was able to experience the joy of making a difference in someone’s life.
Pictures of Darris Stauffer working on Restoration Now projects.
Though it would be nice if we all carried a special toolbox dedicated to Restoration Now in the back of our cars, simply showing up, offering your time and working hard is also the makings of an excellent volunteer. Together we have an immense power to change people’s lives in a positive way. I’ll close with a final quote from my interview with Scott. When asked about the most rewarding project he ever worked on, he replied,
“I believe that one of my favorite projects that I was on was years ago. We were working on a project that needed a ton of work. We had about 20 volunteers at the site. After a week of being at this home one of the guys walked out and just said to me, ‘The people this week have been the equivalent of 100 preachers.’ He was speaking of all the volunteers. That has always stood out as the reason we continue to serve.” – Scott Lowe, Pastor
If the past projects have taught us nothing else, we have learned that through serving together we can achieve great things. This is why volunteers are so important and cherished in all Restoration Now projects. If you are a seasoned Restoration Now volunteer, thank you! Your time and efforts are truly a blessing. If you have not yet had the chance to volunteer, check out our posts for upcoming projects and come on out sometime! All are welcome and appreciated.
“As each as received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
– 1 Peter 4:10