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School was out Saturday, but the Heartland Elementary School courtyard was swarmed with people.
Volunteers pulled weeds, raked fresh mulch over flower beds and planted pansies for the school as part of Grace Heartland Church’s third annual Grace Unleashed day of service.
The day is aimed at reaching out to community residents by volunteering throughout the area.
Julie Clark of Elizabethtown worked in a flower bed with her, Cara, 7.
Clark said she likes helping with the day of service each year to teach her daughter about helping the community and to show God’s love through service.
“We love it,” she said. “We get to go out into the community to show people the Lord, to show his love.”
Clark said students at Heartland Elementary likely will never know who spruced up their courtyard, and that’s part of sharing the love of God. She hopes seeing the work church members did on their behalf makes the children feel special and valued.
“It’s just such a blessing to be part of it,” she said.
The service continued at other locations, such as Warm Blessings, Mission Hope for Kids and Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland.
More than 20 volunteers hustled through a line, grabbing items from boxes to assemble bags of food for Feeding America’s BackPack program. The effort sends food home with children in need for the weekends so they don’t go hungry when school is not in session.
Vicki Abshire, lead warehouse worker for Feeding America, told her fellow church members at Grace Heartland it would be good to pitch in at the food bank during the day of service.
Feeding America is a family-friendly effort that helps provide much-needed nourishment to people across the state, so it seemed like a great place for church members to pitch in, the Elizabethtown resident said.
“The church has left the building,” she said.
The volunteers have a great time every year as they reach out to the community, Abshire said.
“It’s a blessing to do God’s work,” she said. “We come out into the public to work for God and show God’s love.”
Volunteering is part of the mission Christians are called to, Abshire said.
“Jesus loves us all, and we should be his feet and hands,” she said.
Karen Fordham of Elizabethtown attended with several members of her family to reach out to the community with her church.
One of her sons, Daniel, 6, proudly announced he already had finished 30 or 40 bags for the backpack program. It was his first time being old enough to help during the day of service.
She said it felt great to help, show God’s love and teach her two sons about giving back to the community.
Amber Coulter can be reached at 270-505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.