When St. Andrew’s Episcopal raised funds to repair and maintain their West End church, they dutifully committed to repairing homes for their neighbors in the West End. As volunteers, their community embraced the opportunity to serve their community joyfully – and they chose to accomplish that with Rebuild Upstate.
Rusty Infinger, church missions committee member and community leader, reflects on how the Build Day brought their church community closer. “The most exciting part of the day for me was the interaction and fellowship that our church family had as we were engaged in a common cause for good. As Father Gary noted we had participants from 8 to 80 working side by side doing what our mission as Christians compels us to do. New members met long-standing members; kids worked and played as siblings; cutting boards and cutting sandwiches were all a part of the love and devotion we shared. We were one. We were engaged. We loved. We shared. I for one feel closer to my fellow parishioners and to God as a result of this experience with Rebuild Upstate.”
The church participated in a pre-Build Day orientation where they designated safety captains, planned a carpool to the home, and planned which volunteers would be on their lunch crew. The community approached their Build Day with a plan of action so they could best maximize their time to repair the home as well as serve the social needs of the homeowner.
Other members reflected on how volunteering with Rebuild Upstate allowed them to get to know the people they were serving first-hand. One member wrote, “First, what an honor it was for our church family to be given the opportunity to assist one our neighbors to be able to remain in their home. In speaking with the husband, it was clear that his back condition is getting worse and he became nearly tearful as he considered the prospect of being able to have easy access to his home. The fact that he was not out there with us is evidence that he could not get into and out of his home without great pain and discomfort. Leaning upon of love of Christ, we were there to help our brother and sister have a better life.”
Joyful service was a theme for their Build Day. One of the volunteers who served and prepared lunch for their team and the homeowners compared their day to the Candy Factory episode of I Love Lucy. Everyone can contribute their time and talents to help create a safer home for their neighbors, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal did just that.
Dorothy, a member who served on site that day, shares that she “spent some time talking with Larry (the homeowner) and what stands out to me for the “storytelling” is this: Larry worked as a machinist for over thirty years and as a result now battles back problems and will be having surgery in the near future (thus the need for the ramp to safely accommodate his scooter). He treasures his independence and ability to keep life as normal as possible and the ramp will allow him to do that in the home he has lived in for decades.”
At Rebuild Upstate, volunteers can witness the impact you make for one of your neighbors first hand. Thank you to St. Andrew’s Episcopal for serving joyfully.
Last week, volunteers from Rebuild Upstate’s handyman club completed the installation of a new shower, grab bars, and other accessibility modifications to support a safer, healthier home for Larry and Melva.