By Kate Jones, Northshore’s Local Mission Coordinator
Our third annual CommunitySERVE Day is August 21st and it’s bigger than ever. What started as a simple desire to share the love of Jesus with our neighbors has mushroomed into an event that is unifying churches and impacting our community with the Gospel of Christ. This year we are partnering with seven churches to bring a variety of service projects to our schools, local organizations, and cities.
Hundreds of volunteers will be working in twelve different schools—eight in the Northshore School District and four in the Lake Washington District—where budget cuts have left a major opportunity for us to step in and serve. Our teams will help teachers prepare their classrooms for the fall by making nametags, building bulletin boards, cutting out and prepping curriculum, and various other projects. We’ll also work throughout the schools to clean libraries and classrooms, weed, spread bark, paint, and attend to other projects affected by budget cuts.
Last year we were overwhelmed by the response from school faculty and staff who expressed their appreciation for our help and the positive impact it had on the start of their school year. Curtis Anderson, principal at Alexander Graham Bell Elementary said, “More than the actual work done, it was amazing to feel the support of our community.” A librarian stated, “I can’t begin to tell you what a joy it was to walk in last week and find a spotless library—I just kept looking around in amazement. Your help has given me the time to really make the beginning of the year go smoother and I’m planning some new and better things for my students.”
The letters, emails, and phone calls received were a confirmation that our schools need our support and help. CommunitySERVE Day for our local schools is an opportunity to show the love and example of Christ, “for even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many.”
In addition to schools, we’ll have various projects within the cities of Bothell and Kirkland, helping to fill some gaps that budget cuts have created. Last year we were able to clean up and restore three different properties to pristine condition. One property was owned by a hoarder who had passed away and his daughter was working on cleaning things up in order to sell the property, a task which seemed overwhelming. But when a team of 60+ people from the local church showed up to help clear out the junk, pull out blackberry bushes, mow the yard, among other jobs completed that day, the burden was lifted.
Along with all the projects this year, we have a special opportunity to help with the framing of a building for a local organization called Vision House. Vision House Jacob’s Well provides transitional housing and a phenomenal program for homeless families. They have a 93% success rate in southern King County for helping families transition into permanent housing and achieving sustained income and hope to bring this same success to families in North King and Snohomish County. Much of Vision House’s original funding to build apartments and a childcare facility in the Kenmore/Shoreline area was lost when the economy turned two years ago. They are currently relying on local churches to partner with them so they can expand their program. You can go to http://www.youtube.com/user/visionhouse1 to watch a video showing the impact they are making for homeless families.
God has opened many doors for CommunitySERVE Day 2010, but no matter how many doors God opens we need you to walk through them in order for the impact to happen. We hope you will join us to make a difference. Visit CommunitySERVEDay.org to register. Invite your small group, neighbors, coworkers, family and friends to come and serve along side of you on August 21st.