Many thanks to everyone who participated in the 18th Annual Day of Service! We counted/registered 153 volunteers but believe we had more. Each and everyone one of you made a difference. Our hope is that you made new connections within our church community as well as the greater community at large. The organizations we served on Saturday are so grateful.

A few accomplishments:

  • Laid 200’ of boardwalk at the Bellevue Reservation
  • Collected 125 pounds of food and prepared 186 bags of food at Neighbors in Need
  • Prepared & delivered 115 flower bouquets at Power of Flowers
  • Cleared trails for the horses at Strongwater Farm
  • Our children baked, decorated and delivered a gazillion cookies
  • Collected 110 bikes for Bikes Not Bombs

It is a small thing, but Dana’s Grace message was a reminder of how we can provide service for the Lord in some simple ways of work – baking, raking, washing, cleaning, and that really struck me that we often think of work as something to be avoided and we need to remember the pleasure that can come with it especially when the benefit is being shared.

I helped prepare the breakfast Friday afternoon. It was nice to meet some South Church people I hadn’t met before.

Enjoying the excellent food!

I loved watching people make connections within our church community and out in the wider community. Teamwork, positive energy, kindness, and hard work were the themes of this day.

Mounds and mounds of breakfast food!

Taking an Ibuprofen and recovering.

Raking:
Gathering for pizza in Dick Moody’s home while taking a break from raking was wonderful. The Confirmands were amazing. Working and laughing together.

I am so incredibly grateful for Marc Henderson and his chain saw for clearing out the tree in my front yard. I am so blessed.

It was great to rake leaves and visit with Dick Moody. He really enjoyed the youth coming in to share a snack after raking.

Neighbors In Need
I was impressed by the number of organizations the NIN program gave food to. I had no idea that there were so many needy people in the area. I was also enlightened by a tip from Linda, the organizer. She keeps a bag of non-perishable wrapped food in her car and hands it out to someone she may pass on the street who is in need of food. It’s a simple thing that every one of us can do! (and I will).

Having never been over to Neighbors in Need, I was totally overwhelmed by the amount of food sent out each week. I also found out how to cut egg cartons in half without breaking.

I love watching the flow of food from people’s cars, to the wagons, to volunteers’ cars to the Neighbors In Need warehouse, then out to the sites! It is a very direct and important impact.

Power of Flowers:
It was so much fun getting to know other South Church women as we put flowers together to make centerpieces. I had forgotten how much I love flowers.

It was such a lively, fun event. The staff was incredibly helpful and interactive, while clearly enjoying being there. All the pictures of me are terrible because I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to close my mouth and smile!

All the wonderful conversations throughout the project and meeting new people itself was fun and kept us busy.

I learned how to make a floral arrangement. Had fun.

Thanksgiving Card Making:
Age range was 2 years to 72 years. And the kids were fantastic!! They got the spirit of going out into the community to “give thanks” particularly Helping Hands, police and firefighters.

Who knew one can make paper from shaving cream?

Groundwork Lawrence:
Great day working at this urban farm. Learned some new farming techniques like the three sisters where you grow corn, beans and squash together; the corn stalks provide a place for the beans to grow and the squash provides ground cover.

Giving Garden:
Building the shed at the Giving Garden.

Baking with Love:
Cooking/baking with the children – pure joy… all over their fingers and faces.  Seeing people in unexpected ways, pitching in to make the day a success!

Kids mixing colors to make frosting. One child made a flag for the firemen.

Singing for Seniors:
I joined the singing group late and was amazed how the lively, well known show tunes were so warmly received by the group gathered in wheelchairs! They sang along, clapped and even those who were asleep woke up to smile or nod along!

Wonderful, caring group of people – that offered great music, empathy to the people we were serving today.

Being welcomed “back into the fold” after a lengthy absence. Watching audience members who appeared to be asleep respond to our songs, mouthing the words and smiling.

At Wingate there were two friends sitting next to each other. Betsy had encouraged everyone to sing along if they knew the words to all these Broadway and patriotic songs. These two ladies knew all the words and sang their hearts out.

Nursing Home Residents sang along with our choral group, especially the Patriotic songs, accompanied by Serena and “The Sound of Music” selections, accompanied by Rob and Serena.  For those, they perked up! Some residents at Edgewood were tearful during the romantic songs.   

Strongwater farm:
To see the love and care that goes into treating the horses – so they in turn can help so many adults and children in need.

To see the kids in our group working so hard to clear the trails so the horses can walk without risk.

From the moment I saw the farm I knew this would be the best community service day I had attended. There was no one thing that made an impression. The well-kept farm, the farm manager who was outstanding in giving a tour of the farm and describing the personalities of each horse as well as telling about the types of people they service – from 3 years old to 97! The atmosphere of the farm was very caring, making it fun to rake the trails rather than work. Can’t wait to sign up again next year.

It felt good to be able to rake and clear the trail for the horses that are such a great help to the disabled. It was so satisfying knowing that the work we did would help to keep the riders and staff safe. A win-win situation!

The thing that I liked the best about this day of giving was the part where the lady who was in charge explained to us each of the animals and how important they are. This made my daughter who is ten want to work hard so the horses would not get hurt.

Bikes Not Bombs:
The guy from Bikes Not Bombs telling everyone which end of the wrench to hold.

Two older women drove up to Bikes Not Bombs, asking is someone could drive to their home in Ballardvale, because they couldn’t fit their bike in the car to deliver it. It had bamboo fenders, and a woven rattan seat, and was entirely wrapped in rattan. Bikes Not Bombs will have an interesting bike to sell to benefit the organization!

Bread and Roses:
Lauryn from Merrimack College – now full time at Bread and Roses. It was this type of service activity that led to her full time employment.