Area citizens are encouraged to provide a helping hand to their fellow citizens in need during the annual Day Of Service hosted locally by the Neosho Area Clergy Coalition on Sunday, Sept. 14.

“The Day Of Service event is where multiple congregations inside the Neosho area all gather together at the Big Spring Park at 2 o’clock on Sunday afternoon,” said Jeremy Bridges with the Canopy Church. “From there we disperse throughout the community to do all kinds of volunteer work. Everything from washing windows to raking yards to trash pickup to moving furniture to helping people clean out their gutters.”

He said the work is mainly labor intensive.

“We put teams together to go out and provide labor to do jobs that don’t require heavy machinery, or it’s not like we’re climbing on people’s roofs to do things,” he said. “It’s mainly something that we can do to be a blessing – not only to the community – but to individuals in the community.”

Bridges said the Clergy Coalition connects with senior center, The Help Center, Crosslines, the Lane Apartments, The Oaks, the city and the Parks Department, and various other organizations to find individuals who would benefit from some assistance.

“Anything that could be a service to the elderly, those in need, that might be sick that could use someone to come help,” he said. “We put together teams to go work to do that. We also send people to go to the city and cleanup. We’re going to do a bunch of work at Scenic Park and help clean up the park and paint the playground equipment. Just anything we can do to help beautify the community and serve the individuals in the community on that day.”

Bridges reiterated that the intended jobs are labor intensive, they are not providing materials to perform any construction or fix-ups. However, he said that if anyone has any kind of job that requires labor and materials that can be supplied or that the individual might have available, organizers are willing to at least talk to them about that.

He noted that when they run into a situation where someone needs a certain skill-set, because not just anybody can build something well, they are willing to help, if those skills are present on that particular job site.

“Last year, we had a team that went out and helped an elderly woman, and when they got there they were just helping her move some furniture from her upstairs to her downstairs, and what ended up happening was they found out she had a plumbing leak and then they went back and fixed her plumbing for her,” he said.  “That team happened to have that skill set.”

Volunteers should just show up in work clothes, you might want to wear some gloves, but Bridges maintained that needed tools will be provided. He is soliciting team leaders, those who would make themselves responsible to be a contact person and for a small group of three or four people, who should contact Bridges if interested.

“The way a team leader works essentially is  — volunteers come in masses — but I’ve already spoken to the week of — I’ve already spoken to 20 different leaders and said, ‘Hey, your team is going to this person’s house and rake leaves, so can you gather some rakes?’ So they’ll have all the rakes, I just staff them with people at the event,” he explained

He said signup sheets for volunteers and fliers have been sent to every local church congregation in the community, so you can inquire about volunteering at your local church.

Bridges said the goal behind the Day Of Service is two-fold, the first to be a blessing to the community and to serve the community however possible.
“The second goal is to unite the local churches in the community to come together and spend time working together as one group,” he said.

He disclosed that begins as volunteers converge on Big Spring Park near the stage at 1:45 that Sunday afternoon and everyone is sent out to their job sites at 2 p.m.

“Then everyone comes back after working — about 5 o’clock — and at 5 o’clock we serve a meal in the park to all the volunteers, who are going to want to bring a lawn chair, and everyone spends time fellowshipping, there will be music, we’re going to have some bounce houses, and it will just be a time of community involvement and fellowship in the park that evening to conclude our day. It’s a full day, but it’s a good day,” he said.

Now in its fourth year, Bridges invites past participants to wear their T-shirt from previous years. He said there will be some new shirts this year, but not enough for everyone.

“So if you have a T-shirt feel free to wear it,” he said.

Bridges also encourages anyone to bring a pie for the dessert that will be served with the dinner in the park.

Anyone in need that has a small job for volunteers to do for you on the Sept. 14 Day Of Service, or who wishes to become a team leader, should call Bridges at 417-540-1066.