Serve Day volunteers gave back to their communities in a plethora of ways over the weekend, as local parishioners and churches banded together for the eighth anniversary of this day of service. This annual event showcases volunteering in the area and giving back to those in need. Members of the churches regularly try to help people whenever they can, but Serve Day continues to act as a lighting round for this form of giving back.
Serve Day traditionally happens in July of every year, but, due to the heat, Portsmouth put on their own version in September this time. Nonetheless, the idea remains the same, giving back to the area and the people in it.
Volunteers could be seen all over the county with their iconic red shirts marking the status of their participation. Do-gooders could be seen aiding in things such as highway trash pickup, free yard sales, and even painting area parks. Amidst all of the activities, Serve Day strives to provide to those less fortunate and did just that with their free yard sale.
Sandy Brickey, volunteer from LifePoint, spent her Saturday afternoon with Serve Day giving donated clothing and housewares to the people. Brickey said she has been with the event since its inception and hopes to continue for years to come.
“My husband and I have been there since launch day. This is our serve day project (free yard sale). We’re just out trying to serve the people and really trying to give things to the people that need them,” says Brickey. “We serve all year round, but this is a major day for all the churches in the county to come together.”
Donations from local churches and individuals helped make the free sale possible. Items such as toys, household supplies, clothing for men, women, and children were available at no cost to the general public. Visitors to the sale acted calm and respectful. Nobody took advantage of the event or each other. There was even a free lunch made possible by the donations and volunteers. “Everybody has been so peaceful and very appreciative,” says Brickey. “When you see an expecting mom looking for things for a baby it just touches our hearts that we’ve got blankets and new clothes for them.”
“A lot of people can’t afford to buy those kinds of things. There was brand new stuff that was donated with tags still on it,” Brickey continued.
Brickey is thankful for donations from not only the community, but those that donated their time to the cause from local churches. One of LifePoints’ themes is to do life together.
While the giveaway at 7th and Campbell was happening, others were hard at work elsewhere in the county. Serve Day participants gathered in masses at Earl Thomas Conley Riverside Park for a large-scale painting operation at the picnic shelters.
Pamela Thompson, volunteer from Hill-Cross Church, says they’re painting to give back to a park her church frequently uses.
“We like being a part of giving back to the community, and taking care of what we use,” says Thompson. “We feel being mindful of our community is one of the things God has called us to do.”
Serve Day is undoubtedly a staple event in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas and hopes to continue its tradition of serving the community for years to come. While Serve Day originated in Portsmouth’s’ LifePoint church in 2014, they have since gained the attention of several nearby churches that band together to help locals ever since. Countless individuals have also stepped up and joined the cause over the years. The event is not just for churchgoers but anyone who wishes to help make a difference in their community.
“Instead of just serving their congregations, they get outside of their normal boundaries and they get out and serve the community to try to show the love of Christ to the people in the areas that they live,” says Matthew Seifert, Serve Day committee member. “Going out and showing kindness and love and service to those in the community is at a base level is something that God requires of us. In a broader context, I think being a responsible member of a community really is about giving back.”
© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved