An invasion of good will makes its way to the greater Charlotte area this week. Led by Pastor Jeremy Hide of Mis-sion Church in Locust, five churches are joining ranks to perform practical acts of ser-vice for the community. Appro-priately named The Big Serve, Pastor Hide said of the pro-gram, “We are getting people from their seats to the streets in a collaboration of kindness.” The four other churches invol-ved are Lakeview Baptist in Albemarle, W. Albemarle Bap-tist Church, Red Cross Bap-tist in Oakboro, Loves Grove in Stanfield. This coordinated effort began four years ago, star-ting with the Summit Church in Kenersville. When Pas-tor Hide heard about the pro-gram, he was inspired to join in the cause. During that time, he has seen “hope infused in thousands.” Among the many offerings is a car care service for single mothers by Frog Pond Per-formance, Whitley Automo-tive, and Crisco Automotive. The single moms can bring their cars in for complimen-tary oil changes, new winds-hield wipers, batteries, and tire rotations. They will even be treated to a car wash, and the cars are returned with a bag of groceries in the front seat. Moms just need to call for an appointment. Pastor Hide told how this generous kindness has often brought tears to the eyes of these young women overwhelmed by this courtesy. Another service project benefits the schools. Pastor Hide said that when money is tight, the esthetics of the school may suffer. In the past, The Big Serve has gone to tar-geted schools to pull weeds, mulch, and mow the grounds, as well as tackle projects within the building. This year’s pro-ject will be to provide needed general maintenance at North Stanley High School, inclu-ding painting and installing cabinets. The Pastor is a firm believer that this type of impro-vement can boost the morale of the teachers and staff, and that enthusiasm will undoub-tedly be handed down to the students in the ripple effect. In addition, another Big Serve project is to provide meals to police officers in the community, and to write letters to appreciation to local heroes (think firefighters, pri-son guards, for example) and include gift certificates with
those messages. Teachers will also be included in this letter writing campaign, and their notes will be accompa-nied by a box of apples. Volun-teers will also split wood for a local facility who depends of a wood burning stove as its only source of heat this coming win-ter. To supply the health and nutritional needs of the community, there is an on-going canned food drive at the Red Cross Church, and a blood drive will be held at Loves Grove Church on Octo-ber 2 from noon to 4. No regis-tration necessary. However, the acts of kind-ness extend beyond the imme-diate community. Loves Grove Church will be holding a Hope-seeds International Packing Event to send seeds to villages in Africa. Those seeds will be planted, grown, harvested, and used to feel the people of the villages. When asked for a success story, Pastor Hide shared an example of an older cou-ple who were experiencing a myriad of health issues in addi-tion to unemployment. Pastor Hide said, “There was absolu-tely no food in the home, and the walls were literally falling down around them.” The Big serve made the necessary improvements to render the home safer, and supplied the couple with groceries to tide them over until they could find employment—and they soon after did. The Big Serve has proven the adage that it takes a village to accomplish admirable chan-ges in communities and in lives . . .and in actual villages. More information can be found at www.bigservestanly.org.