Volunteers 'Labor for Your Neighbor" with Community Renewal International
For release: July 29, 2010
The sounds of physical renewal fill the air, as volunteers saw boards, trim branches, power-wash walls, hammer in new screens, sweep sidewalks and much more.
Conversation and laughter fill the air, too, because these workers bring more than physical renewal – they are building community renewal.
“We love our community and want to share God’s love in Shreveport. We don’t have to go overseas to do missions – there are needs right here,” said the Rev. Adam Beach, pastor of Willow Point Baptist Church in Shreveport.
“It is amazing to see what is happening in Allendale and what God has been doing through Community Renewal. You are transforming this community.”
More than 70 Willow Point volunteers signed up for the “Labor for Your Neighbor” service outreach with Community Renewal staff as well as neighborhood residents in Shreveport’s Allendale neighborhood. Then 14 World Changers volunteers joined that partnership for a week of work in late July. Sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention, World Changers are students who give up a week each summer to help communities in need.
"They were so dedicated and so awesome. They are just fantastic," said homeowner Rosie Chaffold, a CRI Haven House leader who is a driving force for renewal in Allendale.
"I am very thankful for their hard work and their great desire to do their best. That has a great impact in the community."
Rachel Smith, 21, is a Willow Point member, nursing student and enthusiastic volunteer.
“There’s no point in just sitting in church on Sunday morning and not getting into the community. I see how much it means to the people we help and that makes it worthwhile. We get more out of it than the people we are helping,” she said.
Xee Lor, 16, is a World Changers volunteer from Siloam Springs, Ark., whose family came to the United States from Laos.
“It’s good to show the love that Christ showed us. I want people to have hope and know that there are people who care,” she said.
“This changes my life. It makes me want to strive even more to help others. Helping our neighbors is totally awesome.”
Hollie Rigsby, 15, of Garland, Texas, is thankful that she is learning the value of volunteering at a young age.
“We do projects at our church for people who can’t help themselves and it’s a life-changing experience,” she said. “I have gained confidence and met new people and I like that. I am now more thankful for what I have – a stable family and home environment.”