Volunteer FAQ


What is Metro Paint-A-Thon?

A program of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, the Metro Paint-A-Thon coordinates volunteer teams to paint homes of low-income seniors and the physically disabled. By generously donating their time and talents, the teams allow homeowners to continue living independently, benefiting not only the homeowner, but the neighborhood and the community.


How many homes are painted each year?

In 32 years our volunteers have painted more than 6,500 homes in the seven-county metro area. Depending on funding and volunteers teams available, we now coordinate the painting of 60-75 homes annually. There is never a shortage of qualified applicants, but often a shortage of teams.


How do you select the homes?

Each year, we reach out to communities throughout the Twin Cities. Interested homeowners complete an application focusing on their eligibility and property. Homes are then inspected by our exterior paint expert to determine needs and suitability for the program. We then match volunteer teams with a home based on its size, location and painting needs.


Who volunteers for Paint-A-Thon?

Our volunteer teams come from diverse areas: congregations, companies (employees and retirees), service organizations, community groups and families.


What do the volunteers do?

A team leader from the respective group coordinates the team and the work involved. Prepping can include washing, scraping and priming. Some teams complete the prep work the weekend prior to paint day, others select a few evenings leading up to paint days.The work hours involved depend on the size and condition of the house as well as the number of volunteers. On average, teams consist of 10-40 people and spend two to three evenings prepping, then painting from 8 a.m. until the afternoon on paint days.


Can we bring our children to help paint?

We welcome volunteers of all ages who can contribute to the work of the team. Children should be well supervised and respectful of the homeowners and their property. 


How does a team get assigned a home?

We begin by looking at home size and location preferences. If a home matching that description isn’t available, we seek your second choice by size/location, depending on your listed priority. Your team’s size and skill level are also considered. We make every effort to accommodate your strongest preferences.


Who provides the supplies?

Diamond Vogel Paints graciously donates the paint. We are also fortunate to receive many donated supplies from a variety of companies; including Graco, Inc., 3M, Manus Products, Inc., Bercom, G&K Services and Wooster Brush Company. We seek additional donations throughout the year. Teams are responsible for purchasing, borrowing or otherwise commandeering additional supplies.


What do I need to bring?

Your team leader will let you know. A ladder? Some buckets? Perhaps some extra paintbrushes? Old sheets to serve as drop cloths? Every little bit helps. For prep work definitely bring your scrapers and remember to bring items, such as sunscreen, that you need to work safely and comfortably.


How do I become a team leader?

Contact the Paint-A-Thon office. We will send you a packet that contains registration information, timeline, and recruiting materials. As a team leader, you are responsible for recruiting team members, assigning responsibilities, taking care of supplies and organizing the prep and paint days.


When do we paint?

Paint weekend is always the first full weekend in August. The following weekend serves as substitute date in the event of rain or excessive heat. If a different date works better for your team, contact the Paint-A-Thon office to see what can be arranged.


Where can I find more information?

Contact Metro Paint-A-Thon Coordinator Carolyn Henning by email at chenning@gmcc.org or call 612-276-1579. You can also use our general contact form here. 



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