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.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 4-19 cross walk.jpg Church goers carry cross for Good Friday

    For Effingham resident Adrian Guzman, carrying a cross across Effingham is more than symbolism. 

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two in hospital after chase with St. Elmo police

    Two individuals were sent to the hospital after a chase with a St. Elmo Police officer.

    April 18, 2014

  • tony- sigel 1 Sigel St. Michael breaks ground TONY HUFFMAN Daily News Want to Help? Donations are still being accepted for the addition. Donations may be mailed, dropped off at the parish offices, or placed in collection baskets. A donation wall in the renovated parish center will feature a "Giv

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meth suspect sentenced to 54 months NEWTON -- A man accused of cooking methamphetamine in a vehicle with a child present was sentenced in Jasper County Court Thursday. Charles "Chase" L. Shroyer, 23, was sentenced to 54 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of methamphet

    April 18, 2014

  • Low ridership drives fee up TONY HUFFMAN Daily News Low ridership drives fee up

    April 18, 2014

  • Easements still sought for project After an approval for work on a 21-mile water transmission line between Teutopolis and Newton at a meeting earlier this month, progress continued to trickle in at Wednesday night's Teutopolis Village Board meeting. The Village Board heard from Connor

    April 17, 2014

  • 2 in court on meth charges Jackson Adams Daily News Two individuals arrested on methamphetamine charges in Shumway appeared in Effingham County Circuit Court Tuesday. Tara L. Devoe, 18, of Shumway and Nathaniel S. Sparks, 23, of Beecher City both appeared with counsel before a

    April 16, 2014

  • Effingham eager to attract Pinnacle TONY HUFFMAN Daily News Pinnacle Foods is considering an expansion its operation into the former Fedders building. The project will bring up to 25 full-time jobs to the area. The City of Effingham is looking to make that expansion more appetizing wit

    April 16, 2014

  • Dieterich school meals to cost more Jackson Adams Daily News DIETERICH -- Parents can expect to see some higher costs at Dieterich schools in the next school year. Dieterich Superintendent Carrie Jackson said one of the more notable changes in fees will be noticeable in school breakfas

    April 16, 2014

  • Cathy-beach closed.jpg Beach conditions worry EWA

    Effingham Water Authority is putting the operator of Lake Sara beach on notice after health code violations have kept the beach closed for the past couple of years.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

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.