Hundreds of volunteers will hit the streets of Kirkwood on Oct. 22 intent on making a difference for neighbors in need.
It’s all part of Hands on Kirkwood, an annual ,one-day mission blitz that started with in 2007 and has expanded to include volunteers from other churches and organizations.
The volunteers will provide all sorts of services, from yard work and home repairs to distributing winter coats, collecting food, hosting a dog park, winterizing cars, recycling electronics, visiting with nursing home residents and cleaning up a cemetery.
In all, an estimated 400 volunteers are expected to turn out to lend a hand with some 15 projects serving untold numbers of Kirkwood residents.
It’s not too late to sign up to help. Volunteers can go to Hands On Kirkwood’s website to find ways to participate.
Kirkwood Baptist Church associate pastor Daniel Johnson said the event grew out of discussions at his church about its identity and how best to involve members of all ages in serving God by serving their neighbors.
He said it was modeled on Operation Inasmuch, a project started by a Baptist pastor that has evolved into a national nonprofit. Operation Inasmuch has helped lead more than 1,500 churches across the United States into a “compassion revolution.”
In the first year, about 250 volunteers from Kirkwood Baptist signed on to help. Following the City Hall shootings in 2008, organizers began to think about using the project to help the community come together, Johnson said.
This year, other partners include Harrison Avenue Baptist Church, , and a number of local agencies and organizations.
Johnson said organizers hoped the event would continue to grow.
“If there are more people out there doing what we should be doing as neighbors, that’s only going to be a good thing,” he said.
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