Gibson City churches join together to help community in various ways

By ROSS BROWN
Ford County Record correspondent


GIBSON CITY — Members of seven Gibson City congregations joined together Sunday morning to help members of the community in various ways.

The projects were a part of “Poured Out Church,” an event that has grown significantly over the past couple of years. Among those involved this year were members of the Methodist, Lutheran, Christian, Presbyterian and Catholic churches in Gibson City, plus the local Church of Christ and New Beginnings fellowships.

The event started early Sunday with a joint worship service at the North Park pavilion with all congregations involved. Following the service, different groups dispersed throughout the community, volunteering their efforts for community service.

A large number of volunteers gathered at the garden located at the Gibson Area Hospital Annex, planting flowers, among other activities.

Kathy Eagleson directed a team around the fence at the Annex garden, using hammers to drive in loose nails.

“We were originally going to stain the fence,” Eagleson said. “Once we got here, however, we noticed that several nails were sticking out, so that became our first priority.”

Eagleson said the group hoped to be able to stain the fence later on, adding that it would take a couple of days to complete.

Though the fence project took away a few volunteers, there were plenty of others available to work inside the gate. Other projects at the garden involved power-washing the fence and sidewalks and planting and weeding the flowerbeds.

Back at the pavilion, two tables filled with items were set up with volunteers filling plastic bags with specific sets of items. Sharon Higgins, one of the coordinators of the event, said the items would be going to a number of places.

“The table with non-perishable food items is going toward the Gibson Area Food Pantry,” Higgins said. “We also have a table which will be going to Handles of Hope, and others as care packages.”

Among those present at the pavilion was Jamie Brown-Nugent, co-founder of Handles for Hope, which was collecting all of the care packages being wrapped. Brown-Nugent said her organization has served hundreds of needy residents of Illinois by providing them with hygiene kits.

“We’ve delivered kits to organizations in Champaign, Decatur and even right here locally,” Brown-Nugent said. “We try to find a need, organize a team to fill the kits, and deliver them to those we serve.”

Noting that a large number of kits were being put together on Sunday, Brown-Nugent said that all of the packages will be delivered to the same place.

“All of these kits will be going to the Illinois Veterans Home in Manteno,” Brown-Nugent said. “We hope to have over 300 kits assembled today, and we will be taking them there this week.”

Volunteers on Sunday spread out to a number of locations throughout Gibson City. A small group stopped at all three school buildings to pray for students and staff. A few other volunteers went to Casey’s General Store to wash windows and to County Market to bag groceries for customers. One group assisted residents of the Villas of Hollybrook assisted-living center to create cards to send to members included on prayer lists.

Once the volunteer efforts had concluded, all seven congregations joined together inside the pavilion for a cookout meal for lunch.

Categories (3):News, Religion, Social Services

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