For our project we wanted to update the clothing room at the Women’s Treatment Center in Chicago, Illinois. The clothing room is where all of the clothing donations are stored. The women can get clothing for themselves or their children in this room. Our update included new paint, new shelves, new clothing rods, a new folding table, a new door sign, and plaques for the shelving. Due to the expenses of this project, we needed to raise a significant amount of funds, so fundraising was done before the building was able to start.
Description of Charity
The Women’s Treatment Center helps women who are recovering from addiction. Some of the services that this center offers are medical detox, parenting classes, an emergency nursery, a CPS certified pre-K, housing, and career training. The fact that the women can live with their children (up to 5 years old) in this center is one of the reasons it is unique.
For our project, we had various goals set during our project proposal. These goals included raising $1000 from donations, getting corporate donation matching up to $1000, raise awareness of the organization through fundraising, recruit at least two volunteers to help, install new shelving and clothing rods, and complete the work within one 8 hour day. We had two stretch goals, which included painting the room and adding a new sorting table.
We were able to achieve all of the goals that we set. We raised slightly over $2000 in donations, which more than doubled our goal. Bosch agreed to match $1000 of those donations. We had more than 50 shares on our GoFundMe page which means there was awareness driven. For our paint day we had one volunteer, and for our build day we had three volunteers. This also doubled our goal of two volunteers. We did complete the painting in one day (4 hours) and the building within one day (6 hours). Due to the stretch paint goal completed, we did use two days rather than one, but the original build day scope was within our timeframe of one day. We were also able to purchase a new sorting table due to the extra funds raised.
There were many lessons learned through this process. The most important lesson from this project was looking at all of the possible risks associated. The day before the build and the day of the build we had some issues arise and were able to overcome all of them to successfully complete the project in the given timeline.
Next, assigning specific tasks with deadlines is extremely important. Just having a list of tasks and roles assigned is not enough. Setting deadlines allows you to determine your critical path to ensure everything is complete by the project deadline.
Finally, I think it is important to enjoy yourself during the project. This was one of the assigned goals but we realized that if we were not having fun and enjoying what we were doing then we would not be motivated to complete the project and hit our stretch goals.
Advice to Future Teams
The most important piece of advice I can give is to get started early. This is something we were told in class #1. Luckily, we started right away raising money and not waiting for class deliverables to get started. This allowed us to raise much more money than expected.
Next, having weekly update meetings to ensure tasks are moving forward. If you just discuss verbally and do not have a living document then it is easy to forget necessary tasks.
The last piece of advice is to run through the user journey with your group a few times to write down anything you might miss. In doing this, we remembered many critical things like moving carts, garbage bags, and specialty tools.