The Plain-O Helpers phone number is always manned by a Plain-O Helpers volunteer. Existing and prospective clients call that number (469-366-4286), or use the Request Service page on this website, to convey their need for assistance. Typical repairs are the type that can be completed in 3 hours over a couple of work sessions. Let’s see what happens during a typical week.
By Wednesday afternoon, the list of clients and their needs collected since the previous Wednesday are grouped into Teams – two to four clients per Team. Each client may have requested one or more specific tasks or projects to be performed. Where possible, clients in a Team are grouped by adjacent neighborhoods so as to minimize travel time between them. When preparing the week’s schedule, we also take into account the weather. A forecast of rain would limit all projects to be indoors; outdoor work would be delayed until a later date.
The list of Teams is emailed to all Plain-O Helpers volunteers by 5 PM on Wednesday. Recipients are asked to let the organizers know by return email if they plan to volunteer that Friday and if they have a preference to work on a specific Team.
On Thursday afternoon around 5 PM, the final list with Team assignments is issued to those who plan to volunteer on Friday. Next to each Team will be the names of at least two volunteers; the first name listed is the Team Leader.
On Friday morning, approximately 25 – 30 volunteers meet at Custer Road United Methodist Church at 8:30 AM. Last minute changes are announced and Team Leaders pick up any material and special tools needed for their assigned projects; e.g., batteries for smoke detectors, toilet flappers, tools to trim tree branches, etc. By 8:45 AM team members are usually on their way to visit their first client!
The Team Leader handles introductions at each client’s location. If this visit is to a new client, they are asked to first sign a New Client Release Form. If a new part is needed that was not provided at the morning meeting, the Team will drive to the nearest hardware store and make a tax-free purchase. Upon completion of all projects for a client, the Team Leader will accept any donation offered by the client.
By Friday evening, the Team Leader writes a very brief summary of the effort expended by the Team (time and funds) at each client’s location. Donations, receipts for reimbursement, and signed release forms are returned at the next Friday-morning meeting and handed to the Treasurer.
On a special basis, we do work on projects that are more complex and take more time than typical. These are scheduled separately on days other than Fridays.