Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

October 14, 2013

Churches unite to help others

EFFINGHAM — With approximately 1,500 volunteers coming together the past few days, it shouldn’t come as a surprise a lot can be accomplished.   

Volunteers from seven different church congregations gathered throughout Effingham to give a helping hand wherever they could. The event, organized by Serve Now, Serve Together, paired volunteers to activities that help local, as well as global needs.

Some of the volunteers gathered at Hendelmeyer Park to fill canvas sacks full of school supplies for kids in Honduras.

“We do things for people in and out of our community,” said Jill Jones, who heads up the Packed with Prayers program for the Global Mission Team at New Hope Church.

In addition to basic school supplies, the packs were decorated by volunteers of all ages. A personal note was added to the pack with a prayer for the child who receives it, said Jones.

Four-year-old Khye Stanfield put moons and dinosaurs on his bag, while his mother, Kim, drew an arrangement of flowers. Kim and her husband, Mike, like getting their sons, Cole, 12, Taylen, 10, and Khye, 4, involved with helping others.

“There were a lot of choices this weekend, but we came here because it’s something kids can do for other kids,” said Kim Stanfield.

According to Jones, schools in Honduras lack even the basic supplies like pads of paper and pencils for their students. They also made up bags with supplies for teachers.

Jones is going with volunteers from Serve Now, Serve Together to deliver the bags in late January. School in Honduras starts in February.

Having been to Honduras approximately 50 times over the past 25 years, Jones and her husband, Dr. Robert Jones, encourage people of any denomination to travel on the service trip to lend a hand.

“There is a definite need for this,” said Jones. “We have resources that we can use to help other people.”

In other areas, volunteers went door to door to collect food for Catholic Charities, helped clean the TREC trail, built a deck at  Effingham County Sportsman’s Club, worked on a Habitat for Humanity house in Dietrich, fished with young people at Ballard Nature Center, did cleanup and landscaping at Bliss Park and much, much more.

According to Debby Sefton, Christ’s Church Connection minister, Effingham residents have the perfect combination of faith and work ethic for this massive undertaking.

“The Effingham community has a lot of heart,” said Sefton. “When a need is put out, people respond.”

Serve Now, Serve Together was started at Christ’s Church of Effingham seven years ago, with only members of their congregation participating. Previous volunteer activities took place at nursing homes, parks and the renovation of the Girl Scout cabin near Community Park.

“Every year we have grown,” said Sefton. “I think we have gotten bigger because we have built credibility within the community. I believe when someone gets a call from us, they know we are going to follow through.”

Two community groups, the Sunrise Rotary Club and Relay for Life Planning Team, have joined forces with local churches, including New Hope Church, Centenary United Methodist Church, Effingham Assembly of God, Cornerstone Christian Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church.

With all the local support, Sefton is encouraged by a younger generation she sees as willing and able to help.

“I see a 30s age group that wants to do rather than just sit and listen,” said Sefton. “I think people are realizing how blessed we are in America and that we should give back.”

That willingness to give back has led Sefton to listen and find the needs within the community.

“I think our openness to listen to the needs of others and work as a connector to the community really helps,” she said.

Tony Huffman can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 138, or tony.huffman@effinghamdailynews.com.

To read more about the Habitat for Humanity home, see Monday's print edition.

Text Only
Local News
  • Missouri driver ejected, killed Tuesday ST. ELMO -- A driver from Missouri was killed when the semi she was driving overturned on Interstate 70 Tuesday. Royce E. Horton, 50, of Highlandville, Mo., was driving a maroon and white Freightliner truck-tractor westbound at 3:36 a.m. Tuesday on I

    April 24, 2014

  • Stew-Stras to upgrade technology STRASBURG -- With no new technology purchased since 2011, new computers will finally be coming to Stewardson-Strasburg Schools starting next year. Superintendent Michele Lindenmeyer said the district will be rolling out technology in phases over the

    April 24, 2014

  • Semi driver dead in accident on I-70

    A semi driver from Missouri was killed when their vehicle overturned on I-70 Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Shumway meth suspects plead not guilty

    Two of the four arrested in a Shumway methamphetamine bust earlier this month pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Effingham County Circuit Court.

    April 22, 2014

  • Man found dead from gunshot wound ST. ELMO -- Fayette County authorities are investigating two unrelated deaths over the weekend. Matthew Austin, 47, of St. Elmo was found dead in his pickup by a family member at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at 501 W. Cumberland Road in St. Elmo. Austin appear

    April 22, 2014

  • Library seeks community support

    With a bid letting set for September and renovation of the old Fifth Third Bank slated to begin in December, the Library Board is actively looking for community support in fundraising. 

    April 21, 2014

  • Effingham man gets five-year sentence for meth lab

    An Effingham man was sentenced to five years in prison Monday on a charge of participation in methamphetamine manufacturing.

    April 21, 2014

  • Grand jury indicts Miller on new charge

    An Effingham County grand jury indicted an Altamont man last week on drug-induced homicide charges stemming from the heroin overdose death of an Effingham woman earlier this year.

    April 21, 2014

  • Effingham woman found dead in Vandalia home

    An Effingham woman was found dead in a friend's home Saturday in Vandalia.

    April 21, 2014

  • St. Elmo man found dead of gunshot wound

    Investigations are underway after a man was found dead in a truck in St. Elmo Saturday.

    April 21, 2014

AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.