PORTSMOUTH — An event that has become all too familiar for most of Scioto County is gearing up for another day of change and prosperity.
The event, Serve Day, has had thousands of volunteer hours donated to paint parks, feed children, wash clothing, spread joy, paint curbing, and so much more. The event is organized by local churches, with LifePoint serving as a sort of loose figurehead that got the ball moving many years ago.
In fact, entering its 8th year, many people have a collection of the red shirts they give out to volunteers in their closets, since so many people see good in the event and return each year to give back to their community.
One of those people is LifePoint’s Matt Seifert, who is excited to start his sixth year of giving back through the event.
Seifert helps chair the LifePoint Committee and is also a member of the church’s Dream Team.
“Something that helps bring me back to my faith is seeing organizations and churches do more than just show up for church on Sunday, but also going out and showing God’s love to the community through things like service,” Seifert said. “When I was in law school, and saw people involving themselves in things like Serve Day, and really trying to help people in the community, it really spoke to me and I knew it was something that I really knew I wanted to be involved in when I made my way back here, which I did.”
While LifePoint got the ball rolling, the church has stepped back to allow it to become a day for everyone, where no one church leads over the progress of all and many step up to do good in their own areas.
A common theme of LifePoint has always been church outside of church, so the group sees this as a major part of their identity.
Seifert said that the Serve Day structure has become much less centralized within LifePoint, so he isn’t certain of an exact number of churches participating this year, but he believes the number to be around fifteen to twenty.
“We’re just focusing less and less on the numbers and more on the work itself,” Seifert explained.
The work this year will vary by church, but Seifert said a lot will be accomplished.
“So, there will be everything from a large community yard sale, where things will be donated and sold at a very reasonable rate to people in need, and then turning around to donate that money to other charitable organizations; there will be projects in which we help the city do some general downtown beautification, like running around picking up trash; we will be feeding people downtown, like the homeless; and I know there are some churches tackling a project on the West Side to help with some painting. We do everything from helping municipalities, to showing up to help seniors, to raising money for charitable services, and more.”
Seifert explained that LifePoint encourages people to get involved through their church, but, for anyone without a participating church affiliation, they’re still welcome to find a project to help with.
A good location for those people to meet will be Tracy Park at 9 a.m.
“We will be doing downtown beautification, cleaning up litter, feeding people, etc.,” Seifert explained. “So, if somebody wants to participate and doesn’t have a church or project, they can show up there. If you can bring gloves and trash bags, that would be super helpful, but, if not, we will have some extra available. We can assign them to a small group and get them cleaning an area downtown.”
The churches participating will be spread throughout the county. The projects range from large to small and incorporate an array of good.
“I think service is amazingly important. It gives us a better connection to people and things going on around us,” Seifert said. “It is easy to get caught in our own little bubbles, but, when we reach out, it can pop that bubble and help us realize exactly how important it is to help people, not just the community at large, but, with individual people.”
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected]diamidwest.com, © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved