Day to Help Community
April 7, 2011 • Libby Sanders, Staff Writer
Filed under News
One day out of the year, Bible Christian Church goes even further out of its way to help people. That day is the Day of Service. It will take place Saturday, April 9.
Day of Service is a time for those in need to receive many services for free. Clothes are one of the main things that will be available.
“One of the greatest parts is just seeing hundreds of people come in who desperately need clothes or they need dental service or eye exams, just seeing the glow on their face when they go out,” associate pastor Bob Bates said.
The event has been taking place at Bible Christian Church for six years. However, the idea is not entirely new. There is at least one other place that has a similar occurrence.
“The week before I interviewed here for the associate minister’s job, I was in a little town in Montana.” Bates said. “It was on an Indian reservation. When I went in there were tables with clothes all over them and the police were doing fingerprinting.
I asked what they were doing and they said they were helping the Indian children and providing free clothes for them. So I came here and I said this is a neat idea, why don’t we do try doing that?”
While the day may have been inspired by that, it has grown from just clothes here in Garden City. The day has come to include many things, including haircuts, eye exams and various health screenings, as well as the Ident-A-Kid program with the Garden City Police Department. All of these services are free.
“One of the wonderful things is the receptivity. I think it’s been amazing the receptivity of the entire community, especially the school district.” Bates said.
The majority of the reason this event can go on at no cost to its patrons is because of its volunteer workers. The entire event is put on via volunteers, from set-up to helping clean up afterwards. As with any event that helps around 8,000 people, volunteers are of all ages.
“I’ve helped several years and it’s a good way to help the community. You really feel like you’ve accomplished a lot at the end of the day, especially when you help set up,” sophomore Casandra Ayala said.
Even those who do not attend Bible Christian Church have come out to help this year. Members of the GCHS club Students for the Future have participated in set-up.
“I’m not very religious but I like to help out, even if it’s at churches for the sake of helping the community,” sophomore Luis DeLaRosa said.
Regardless of why people volunteer, Bible Christian is happy to have them. As the years have gone by, the event has drawn not only more patrons but more helpers as well.
“That just excites me,” Bates said, “that people would give up a whole day just to help make sure other people get good things.”
Having one day to help others is exactly what the Day of Service is about. It takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday at 1501 E. Mary. Clothing donations are still being accepted.
“We’re just happy to be able to share in our way of thinking, the love of Christ with the rest of the community,” Bates said.