Friday, September 25, 2009

Feature Article: Neighbor2Neighbor

Neighbor2Neighbor campaign goes into community
Editor's Note: This article ran in the Wednesday, Sept. 24, issue of the Siloam Springs Herald Leader.
 

By Kaylea Hutson
SILOAM SPRINGS — Despite rain and unseasonably cool temperatures, more than 30 children, youth and adults stepped out of their normal Sunday routine to complete four service projects in the Siloam Springs community.

For two hours, volunteers from First United Methodist Church in Siloam Springs undertook a variety of projects on Sept. 13, including completing a brick side walk, helpingwith some yard work, passing out water bottles to motorists and picking up trash along Sager Creek.

It was all part of the Neighbor2Neighbor campaign, a multi-generational service project designed to help volunteers become "the hands of Jesus" to those living within their own community.

"We wanted to do some practical help, for people in our community to show them the love of Christ in a tangible way," explained Peter Banks, minister to families with youth. "Itwas a joy to see some needed projects completed."

Banks organized the projects through a variety of sources including the Manna Center and Siloam Springs Senior Center.

Those helped, he said, seemed full of gratitude for the assistance they received, and were often surprised that the effort was not a fund-raiser for the church.

"People who stopped for the water were especially surprised that the volunteers were not collecting money," Banks said. "It may seemsimple, passing out water, but it satisfied an immediate thirst.

"Team members wanted to find a tangible way to show people that they cared about things, even as simple as a cup of cold water."

Because of the success, several volunteers have requested to do this project again. Banks said plans are being considered for future outreach efforts.

For more information about First United Methodist Church, call 524-6111 or visit www.fumcss.com.

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