Dearborn churches lend helping ‘Hand’

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Two Dearborn churches plan to get involved with hundreds of metropolitan Detroiters who are helping fight hunger and revitalizing numerous communities on Oct. 6.

“Hands 4 Detroit” is sponsored by the Detroit United Methodist Churches and is still accepting volunteers for the first-time program. The event seeks to drive out hunger in the Motor City and combat blight by cleaning up abandoned parking lots and beautifying parks and neighborhoods with a coat of paint or a rake.

The Rev. Kathy Charlefour of Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 1570 Mason, said participating in the event is one of the missions of her church.

“Our mission is to take care of the physical and spiritual needs of our community and the world,” Charlefour said.

Charlefour added that churches will give volunteers supplies such as rakes and shovels at the worksites; the volunteers need to wear comfortable clothes to work. The churches, such as Good Shepherd United Methodist, are also site coordinators that came up with a service project idea.

The Rev. Susan Dunlap of First United Methodist Church, 22124 Garrison, said her church is involved in “Hands 4 Detroit” because volunteering is a way to show one’s faith.

“We think (volunteering) is a way to express our faith behind the walls of our building,” Dunlap said.

Melanie Carey, district superintendent of the Detroit Renaissance District of the United Methodist Church, said the United Methodist Church wanted to do something to make an impact in the community. She said the event started as a way to encourage everyone to make a day of service.

This year she hopes the event will draw about 1,000 people.

Those interested in donating personal care or food items are asked to call the donation site ahead of time to make sure the site is open or available to accept donations.

First United Methodist Church is one of the seven donation sites for the event and its hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 1 to 4 p.m. Friday.

Allen Park Trinity United Methodist Church, 9077 Allen Road, is a Downriver donation site where the dropoff is in the main entrance lobby. The telephone number is 313-382-1730. The church is open 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, closed on Saturday and open from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday.

Dunlap’s parishioners plan to get involved with the event by collecting food and donating it to Gleaners Community Food Bank and sending volunteers to work in teams around the city.

Dunlap said by volunteering, her congregation is connecting with the city of Detroit.

“The focus is to help drive out hunger and that is why there is such an emphasis on collecting food,” she said.