From the beginning, Hope Christian Church south of Columbia has looked for ways to help the community through acts of service.
“We wanted to try to fulfill the commission that God calls us to serve,” said Carol Turnquist, Hope Christian Church ministry associate.
That called for a day in which the church would bless Monroe County and the surrounding area with service projects, including powerwashing homes, cleaning out utility sheds, washing cars and other acts of kindness. A total of 180 people in the congregation participated in Impact Day on Oct. 2.
“(The church leaders) have never seen something so organized,” Turnquist said, adding that volunteers completed every planned project.
Those the church served range from Oak Hill residents to the city of Waterloo to homeowners in Millstadt. At Oak Hill, they played games with residents and some of the volunteers greatly enjoyed the experience.
“Two of the guys are going back there to play more games,” Turnquist said. “I thought that was pretty cool.”
For the city of Waterloo, one group from the church added to the patriotic artwork on the side of the Edward Jones building across from JV’s Downtown Bar & Grill on Main Street. Waterloo residents Elaine and John Polizzi painted the original mural that includes soldiers with the American flag in the background.
Next to that, the church group added a painting of a soldier kneeling down at his fallen comrade’s grave, along with a boy waving the American flag. The two images tie together as a story with the boy growing up to become the soldier kneeling at the grave.
“I love the addition,” Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith said of the mural. “It helps fill that hole up and it looks great. I’ve always liked that one where he’s kneeling down at the grave.”
Smith said the artwork was taken from a stencil they traced onto the building. Additionally, church members painted the interior walls of the Monroe County Welcome Center in Columbia.
“Once again, our community is outstanding when it comes to volunteerism,” Columbia Mayor Kevin Hutchinson said.
Cities served included Dupo, Millstadt, Columbia, Waterloo and Red Bud. Volunteers helped clean a homeowner’s yard in Dupo who had a tree fall on the house last year.
“He had been trying to clean up the yard for a year, but he has heart problems and could only do one hour at a time,” Turnquist said.
The church performed many other activities on Impact Day, but Turnquist indicated every day is just another opportunity to serve.
“We like to think that we’re always serving,” she said.
With that said, Hope Christian Church uses different resources to serve, such as its food pantry where it impacts the community by providing food baskets to Monroe County residents. The Hope Food Pantry is open from noon to 2 p.m. the second and fourth Fridays of the month and serves about 300 families monthly.
For more information on Hope Christian Church, including Impact Day and other services the church provides, call 939-9089 or 281-6776, or email email@example.com.
Turnquist, who coordinated this year’s Impact Day, is proud of what the event represents in the community.
“It’s an opportunity to go out and bless others who maybe don’t have the funds to do projects themselves,” she said.