Has this ever happened in your community group? You’re meeting together at the beginning of the trimester and your community group leader starts to encourage your group to serve. Your group is immediately interested. “What organization?” “Can my children help?” “What will we be doing?” Eagerly your group decides what organization on northridgeserves.com they would like to serve with and which volunteer opportunity sounds like a great fit. Then someone asks “When is it?”, and with that one question, slowly the eagerness fades as a third of your group realizes they are not available on that particular day. At this point your group either decides to do the project anyway with the other two thirds, or the conversation is pushed aside for another day (to maybe end up in the same situation again).
That’s a pretty common community group experience. Groups start out wanting to all serve together, but due to our busy individual lives, they have a hard time getting everyone together at the same time. However, we want to suggest that despite the busyness, groups can still serve together. Sometimes your group just has to think about “serving together” a little differently.
When your group finds itself in the above situation, consider splitting up the service project into sub-projects. For example, your group decided they wanted to help with Youth for Christ’s Christmas Celebration that took place Saturday December 7th from 1-3pm. A fourth of your group is not available that Saturday. Another fourth is available before 1pm, another after 3pm, and the last fourth is available the whole time. This particular project allowed for four sub-projects: preparation (baking and purchasing new toys to donate – all done on your own time), setup for the party (morning of), execution of the party, and clean up. Your whole group may not be able to all serve exactly at the same time, but breaking up the project into sub-projects allows your group to still serve together in the midst of busyness. The overall needs of the project get met and no one in your group has to serve alone. This suggestion doesn’t work for every project, but it’s definitely something to be considered if the “When?” question is bringing your group down.