One of the best things about working with volunteers is that you get to know some of the nicest people in the world. Volunteers are usually looking for opportunities to make a genuine contribution to the world so you seldom find self-absorbed folks in the bunch. And volunteers who are willing to pick up litter, dig up weeds and plant flowers, you have the cream of the crop. They don’t worry about getting dirty, sweaty or tired because they are committed to making a difference.
And when you have potential volunteers contact you from 900 miles away and ask about volunteering in your community, you just know they are going to be some very dear people. And they certainly were.
I was fortunate last week to work with a wonderful group of people from Beardstown, Ill. Janna Wooley from the Church of the Nazarene in Bearsdtown contacted me about a month ago. Members of her church were about to take a mission trip to Hinesville to participate in vacation Bible school at New Hope Church of the Nazarene. Janna told me her group of about 30 people wanted to expand their mission while they were here.
The volunteers wanted to spend two days working on projects to benefit the community. Janna shared with me the group’s motive. "We are a group of growing Christians who are striving to be more like Jesus in our daily walk. We feel that this additional service will give us a chance to work together with others in this community and let Christ shine through us in our efforts," she said.
When they arrived in Hinesville the week of June 14, we worked on several projects, including cleaning up, weeding, re-planting and mulching an area at the I-95 ramp on Highway 84. Each morning, the temperature soared into the 90s, but this group worked so hard. They were working for the Lord and it showed. Within hours, the area looked great! Now keep in mind, these volunteers left the site, got cleaned up and headed straight to Bible school.
On June 16, in spite of the heat, the volunteers replanted and mulched areas around the local health department on Oglethorpe Highway. They planted and cleaned out areas around some of the buildings downtown. The group cleaned and planted daylilies and other plants around the entrance to the old Mills House. Their timing was perfect as the Hinesville Area Arts Council is now using the Mills House for local exhibits, such as the vintage Barbie collection that is currently on display.
Next, the teens and a few adults from the group performed a litter scan downtown. In a couple of hours, the volunteers had collected 714 cigarette butts around the Bradwell Park area, courthouse, courthouse annex and on Commerce and Main streets.
As you can tell, the volunteers were relentless. Their handiwork in our community and their participation in New Hope Church’s Bible school were much appreciated. We were all blessed by their work and selflessness. I want to thank them for sharing their time and effort with our community.
Upcoming KLB activities:
• Win-dex Award nominations: Nominations are being accepted through June 30. For a form, call Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888, e-mail email@example.com or call the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce at 368-4445.