By Octavia Caldwell and Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent
CAMP SPRINGS, Md.—Members of The Church of the Great Commission, along with their families and friends, worked together to “wow” their neighbors with love during their annual community day in September. In a massive outreach event, volunteers gave away 300 bags of groceries and boxes of gently used clothing to those needing a helping hand. They also added 35 new bone marrow donors to the bone marrow registry, screened 60 men for prostate cancer, and tested over a dozen people for HIV/AIDS. That’s not all. They had a Red Cross blood drive, skin cancer testing and several healthy cooking demonstrations. The Children’s Tent provided a storyteller, face painting, rock climbing, balloons and crafts. At the Prayer tent, members offered counseling, prayer and distributed free Bibles in English or Spanish.
Several governmental agencies participated including: The IRS, Hospice and the following agencies from Prince George’s County – Social Services, the Department on Aging, Community Relations, Family Services and the Department of Housing. They provided a wealth of free material and advice.
Visitors received information about access to foreclosure counseling, up-to-date news about new home purchases through special programs, theft prevention techniques and how to secure help for those struggling with utility payments.
“The government and community representatives were great,” Octavia Caldwell, the church’s community day organizer said. “They did presentations, engaged the community and just enjoyed the day with us.”
Approximately 1,000 people came to the event and many have visited the church. Several families have continued to attend.
“One of the ladies who helped at the clothing give-away came to the church just this week to thank us for the outfits she received. She said she was able to go on job interviews and had been blessed with a new job,” Caldwell said.
“Sometimes it’s about the ‘one’ who comes back and says, thank you. We believe we have not yet seen all of the harvest from Community Day 2009.”