Asbury, Covenant, Louisiana Avenue and Northwood United Methodist Churches joined forces Jan. 16 for a “Day of Service,” participating in several community outreach projects serving the Lafayette community.
The tasks included installing home fire alarms (in conjunction with the Red Cross), sewing pillows for breast cancer patients, assembling boxes for children picked up through the foster care system and beautifying the city (Project Front Yard.)
A total of 58 volunteers from the four local churches went out in teams with Red Cross personnel to test and install the alarms. “All of the homeowners were gracious and so happy that we were there,” said Melissa Hartwell, youth director for Covenant UMC. Hartwell also assisted with coordination of the Saturday event. View KATC-TV’s coverage of the installation and interviews with Lafayette United Methodists here
More than 200 small pillows were sewn during the “Day of Service” by 20-plus volunteers from Asbury and Covenant UMCs for Miles Perret Cancer Services in Lafayette. The pillows will be used in post-surgery kits that are distributed by the center to breast cancer patients after their mastectomies. The sewing took place at Asbury UMC in a work area which is set up for the church’s ongoing sewing ministries.
Fifty hygiene kits were assembled and decorated by some of the youngest volunteers at Covenant UMC that morning. The kits will be given to the Department of Child and Family Services to present to children that are being moved into the foster care system. “These kits give the children that are being helped something to keep them occupied during a very stressful situation,” said Hartwell.
Assembling the kits was the perfect task for children who wanted to volunteer, Hartwell added. “They were able to help right along with their parents. In addition to making the kits, the kids wrote notes to the children who would be receiving these special boxes. Our kids were so excited to be a part of the effort.”
Rev. Chris Blanchard, pastor of Covenant UMC, said that the Department of Child and Family Services gives away anywhere from 60-90 of these kits in Lafayette each month.
A final group of volunteers spent the day beautifying the city through Project Front Yard, picking up trash on the side of the road.
The collaboration among the Lafayette area churches got its start when Covenant UMC held a “Day of Service” in August of 2015. “In talking with other pastors, we knew a group effort would make even more of an impact on our community. Covenant extended the invitation to other United Methodist churches, asking them to join with us on the 16th for a joint effort. They said ‘yes,’ and the event was a huge success,” said Rev. Blanchard, who believes the outreach will be an annual event.