Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fox Valley Congergations Caring in Collaboration


Hundreds of volunteers expected for dozens of projects over weekend
June 15, 2007

Hundreds of volunteers will be lending a hand Saturday in a Fox Valley-wide service effort.

Involved in the project will be an estimated 400 volunteers from Family & Faith Christian Church in Aurora, 1,400 from Christ Community Church in St. Charles, and hundreds more through Ginger Creek Community Church, the Fox Valley United Way and the Center for Community Empowerment.

They will join together to perform dozens of separate projects in the Fox Valley, including efforts in Aurora, St. Charles and Elgin.

Long time volunteer Melanie Tulley of Christ Community Church said that the day is a productive one.

"We bring a lot of people together during one day; we get a lot of energy and enthusiasm," Tulley said. "It has a high impact, which is why I like it.

"We have had people from different organizations express their gratitude for what we have done. For the church, it is really about showing our love to the community, to show a helping hand and really show God's love in the community."

The Aurora projects will include spreading mulch at the Marie Wilkinson Child Development Center, fixing potholes in the Salvation Army parking lot, and painting classrooms and halls at the Aurora YWCA.

Volunteers participating in the effort will also fix up more than 75 homes in an Aurora housing complex, in addition to making repairs at dozens of non-profit organizations.

Larry Stratton, director of community impact at Christ Community Church, said the church's Day of Serving offers people an opportunity to serve not just for one day, but all year long.

"Sometimes the church can be isolated, but we don't think that should be the case," he said. "It is hard to care for the community if you don't know the community. It exposes our congregation to needs and helps them kind of have that servant heart."

Brian Basilico of the Fox Valley United Way said volunteers are welcome to join in the day's activities.

"We can always use more volunteers," he said. "If you can hammer a nail or paint a wall, you can get involved in your community.

"There's no shortage of work to be done."

For information, contact Basilico at (630) 692-1431, or visit the United Way Web site at

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