Summit Church completes volunteer projects for inaugural Serve Day

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, March 6, 2019

NILES — While the weather may not feel like it just yet, spring is just around the corner. With this in mind, volunteers from Niles’ Summit Church spent their Sunday lending a helping hand to spring clean for nonprofits, local parks and schools across Michiana.

Kayte Hatch, the administrative pastor, said this was the church’s first Serve Day. Approximately 230 volunteers from the church took part. Each volunteer group was assigned to one of 10 locations. Volunteers completed a variety of projects, including cleaning, picking up trash at Riverfront Park and along U.S. 12, making encouraging notes for seniors and teachers, and preparing meals for local ministries. 

“We have three areas that we focus on [as a church],” Hatch said. “Know God, love people and serve the world. This was kind of a new way for us to capture community service in an all hands on deck style.”

With March 20 marking the first day of spring, Hatch said the church felt it was an ideal time to help local nonprofits get some spring cleaning done and help beautify local parks.

Volunteers cleaned at many nonprofits, including LifePlan, a faith-based organization that seeks to help new parents have basic resources like food and clothing as well as support.

Lyndon Azcuna, the director at LifePlan, said volunteers’ efforts to clean the building, organize supplies and put in new smoke detectors helped the nonprofit significantly.

“Serving us allows us to put our funds in other areas to serve clients,” Azcuna said. “We depend on volunteers and help from churches in our community to help us run the ministry.”

He invited other churches to connect with the organization for an opportunity to give back to their community.

Other organizations who received help from Summit volunteers on Sunday echoed the praise for volunteers.

Kayla Foster, the marketing coordinator for the YMCA of Southwest Michigan, said volunteers helped to deep clean the Niles-Buchanan YMCA.

“It was amazing to see all the families from Summit Church come together with hearts of gratitude to serve our community,” she said. “We are always appreciative of those willing to donate their time and talent to the Y.”

Hatch said she hopes to make Serve Day a yearly tradition. Reflecting on the inaugural project, she said she is proud of volunteers’ efforts to give back to their community.

“I think it was good for us as a church body to come together to serve,” Hatch said. “Also just giving back to the community, which relates back to our mission and purpose.”

Projects completed:

• Picking up trash at Riverfront Park North

• Picking up trash on U.S. 12

• Assisting LifePlan in cleaning

• Spring cleaning at Howard Ellis

• Spring cleaning at Niles-Buchanan YMCA

• Hope Ministries

• Making blankets for Salvation Army/LifePlan

• Creating gifts for Brandywine schools

• Youth helped to assemble bags of food for students at Cedar Lane

• Creating encouragement cards for Timbers of Cass County Nursing Home

• Prepping Freezer Meals for Summit’s Meals Ministry