Serve 2012, the multi-church community service undertaking by United Methodist congregations, was described at last week's meeting of the Monett Kiwanis Club.
Charlene Dart, who coordinated the undertaking through the First United Methodist Church in Monett, said, "The primary objection is to get churches outside the walls of the church and into the community."
Over 100 United Methodist churches across Missouri participated in the undertaking, working one or two days in their towns. The effort around Monett involved 236 workers from five churches: the First United Methodist Church and Christ Methodist Church, Monett; Liberty Methodist Church, and New Liberty Methodist Church, rural Monett; First United Methodist Church, Pierce City; and Dry Valley Methodist Church, rural Pierce City.
Dart said the volunteers tackled 42 projects. They visited 26 homes. Yard work on home projects involved yard maintenance, cutting limbs and cleaning windows and screens. Dart said to some senior citizens, the companionship was as important as the work done.
Volunteer teams painted at Leisure Living and Benchmark Healthcare in Monett, as well as the overhang for bleachers and light poles at South Park. Some went to gas stations, washed windows for free and handed out 1,000 cookies. Teams also worked at the Barry-Lawrence County Development Center and at the Habitat for Humanity house.
After work on Saturday, volunteers gathered at South Park for a meal and an evening of fellowship. They were entertained by Pans of Steel, a six-person steel drum ensemble from Trinidad whose members also helped with the projects.
Dart said the Trinidad group was raising money of its own to build their own church back home. In a densely populated island, property sells for $250,000 for an eighth of an acre.
After efforts on Sunday, the volunteers reassembled for an ice cream social at Monett's North Park. Dart said the dream for the Serve program is to have other community service organizations participate with the churches.
Dart was introduced by Gordon Brown, who presided at the meeting.
A letter of appreciation was read by Brown from the Missouri Boys State program. The Kiwanis delegate, Andrew R. Brown, was commended for his efforts at the model government session.
"Andrew gained invaluable leadership and citizenship skills and knowledge about government which he will utilize in his school, community and as an adult," the letter stated.
The Monett Kiwanis Club meets at noon on Tuesdays for a meal and a program, usually at Happy House restaurant.