In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus of Nazareth describes to his
followers how they should serve those around them: feed the hungry,
give the thirsty something to drink, take strangers into their
homes, clothe the naked, help the sick, visit prisoners.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus of Nazareth describes to his followers how they should serve those around them: feed the hungry, give the thirsty something to drink, take strangers into their homes, clothe the naked, help the sick, visit prisoners. He explained, “Anything you did for one of my brothers here, however humble, you did for me.”
On Oct. 25, several Gilroy and Morgan Hill churches sent members into their respective communities. Their goal was to “demonstrate the love of Christ through acts of kindness.”
Community Impact Day, as the venture was called, began with an 8 a.m. check-in at the 11 participating congregations:
– Gilroy: Foothill Four Square Church, Calvary Chapel, New Hope Community Church, First Baptist Church, Gilroy Presbyterian Church, Incarnate Faith Church and South Valley Community Church.
– Morgan Hill: West Hills Community Church, Morgan Hill Bible Church, Crossroads Christian Church and Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church.
Then volunteers traveled to a variety of locations to complete various projects:
– Crown molding was installed and a dining room was painted at Pacific Hills Manor, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in Morgan Hill.
– Three schools in Gilroy – Rod Kelley Elementary, El Roble Elementary and Gilroy High – received campus clean-ups. This included power-washing lunch tables, landscape maintenance, flower-planting, leaf-raking and window-washing.
– Christmas Hill, Las Animas and Rainbow parks were cleaned up.
– Trash at the Gilroy train station and in downtown alleys was picked up and disposed of.
– Several homeless encampments in South Country were visited. Participants distributed sack lunches and blankets as cold winter weather approaches.
– Motorists at several intersections received a pleasant surprise as they stopped for red lights: Volunteers handed out free bottles of water and other beverages.
– Flowers and bulbs (daffodils, Iceland poppies, flowering cabbages) were planted at Las Animas Park, Wheeler Community Center and the Wiley House.
– Teacher survival kits were assembled with supplies to help supplement strapped school budgets: paper, pens, pencils, tissues, post-it notes and other classroom necessities.
– Dog treats were distributed at the Morgan Hill Dog Park.
One volunteer who took part in this community activity commented that he enjoyed the experience and felt “a sense of fulfillment from blessing others.” Another reported that it was “nice to help others with no strings attached.”
Leslie Wilcox of Gilroy’s Park and Landscape Department praised the volunteers’ efforts for helping out the city’s Clean and Green Program. “The work they did frees up our crews to focus on more pressing problems.”
Valerie Alves, executive director of Pacific Manor, lauded the Morgan Hill volunteers who beautified a dining room in her facility, appreciating their “hard work and generosity.”
The volunteers who worked at Gilroy’s El Roble School were “wonderful, with an upbeat attitude and seemed glad to be helping out,” reported Leann Nelson, the school’s secretary.
Organizers of last month’s Community Impact Day are proud of their efforts to serve the residents of Morgan Hill and Gilroy. They hope to get more congregations involved in next year’s event.