How much noise can 100 volunteers make? If they are teenagers, expect the typical chatter and laughter. When involved in serving their community, add the rustle of branches and plastic bags, rakes dragging through mulch, hammers striking nails, the squeak of spray-bottles, whine of leaf-blowers, and the swish of paintbrushes.
On Saturday, April 27th, 75 students, 20 plus assorted youth leaders, and several Serve 6.8 community and project liaisons participated in the annual Serve Out Loud day. The purpose of the event was to find practical ways for the young people to apply what they’d been learning about showing love for God by loving others, and hopefully kickstart a lifestyle of service.
The projects this year centered around the Murphy Center and Coachlite (a neighbor to neighbor housing facility). Over the course of four hours, various teams of middle and high school students:
- trimmed juniper bushes in a hedge
- dug out and re-mulched playgrounds
- picked up trash
- cleaned up debris
- hung wasp traps
- touched up paint
- cleaned and sterilized rooms
- fixed a fence
- cleaned out gutters
- sorted donations
- packed almost 2000 meals to be distributed through Homeless Gear
After working hard all morning, one student said, “This was the most fun and best thing I have done in months … When can I do this again?” For many others, the opportunity to get outside the church walls and serve became a fresh encounter with Jesus.
How did the organizations that were helped respond? Here’s what Daniel, the Program Director at Homeless Gear, had to say: “On behalf of all of us at Homeless Gear, thank you so much for the amazing work that you and the awesome group of kids did for Homeless Gear, the Murphy Center, and the entire community this weekend!! I was amazed by how much work got done, how quickly it was finished, and how organized you were in making it happen. I have never seen the Murphy Center as spotless as it was after you left.”
“The work the kids did for HG – the sorting and the meal assembly – will help us (and other organizations) serve homeless men, women and children in Fort Collins, Larimer County, and throughout Colorado. In case you didn’t hear the final recap: the group sorted everything we had in our storage PODS and trailer AND produced 1,977 takeaway meals! Those meals and those supplies will be distributed through our Gear Room and regular distribution events at the Murphy Center, through our Night Street Outreach program, and to other organizations that serve the homeless population.”
“Please pass along our thanks to everyone who made the “Serve Out Loud” event such an awesome success! We are so lucky to have you in our community, and so thankful for all that you have done – and continue to do – in support of the homeless population.”
If actions speak louder than words, the sound of service on Saturday was LOUD.