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Volunteers From Mac Hammond's Church Make a Difference in Their Community
Pastor Mac Hammond's church, Living Word Christian Center, recently sent over two hundred people into the community for the sole purpose of blessing others.
This team of volunteers was one of many who spent time in Brooklyn Park and the surrounding areas helping the community in various ways. Some picked up trash while others planted flowers in parks. Three teams went to different senior citizens' houses to help with yard care. Other teams passed out cold water to those who wanted it, and some bagged groceries. Youth from Living Word's junior high group put on a $1 car wash--but instead of receiving a dollar per wash, they gave away a $1 to everyone who came through.
Scott Mattson and his teenage children, Sean and Shani, were some of the volunteers at a local gas station. They have been serving in Operation Outreach for five years. They started volunteering at the $1 car wash; another year they passed out cold water; this year they pumped gas and washed windshields for patrons at a local gas station. Scott explained that volunteering in the community blesses the people you are helping, but it also blesses you as a person. Volunteering has become a "generational blessing" for Scott's family; his father modeled the volunteering spirit through a unique volunteering venture when Scott was younger. Scott now volunteers with his kids through Operation Outreach.
A common theme from all the volunteers was how "fun" it was to help others. Keniesha Pouncy was leading the senior high team at Edinburgh USA. She stated, "We receive so much. It's nice to be able to give back. You never know when you might be in need." She also noted that as she watched her team, "Some of these girls don't know how strong they are until they get a large buckthorn branch in their hands. Someone will ask, 'Can I help?' and they'll say, 'No, I got it.'"
All of these volunteer efforts were part of Operation Outreach, an event that takes place three times every summer. The next two events will be held on July 11 and August 8. Each event is led by Living Word's outreach pastor, Phil Winn. While Pastor Winn was working with the team of youth getting rid of buckthorn along a sidewalk, a car pulled up next to him. Pastor Phil perked up and started a conversation with the driver. "What's going on here?" the driver wanted to know.
"Just getting rid of some of this nasty buckthorn!" Winn replied. He continued to tell the driver--who turned out to be his neighbor and an employee of the golf course--why these youth were out wearing bright green t-shirts. "We're just doing simple acts of kindness to help others." The driver was both blessed and impressed.
So next time it's a beautiful summer night and you see clusters of people in bright green t-shirts, you'll know what's happening. Living Word volunteers are simply reaching people, touching lives, and making a difference--with no strings attached.