Today in America, most communities want to make a difference and be a part of something that will produce a lasting impact. However, due to a lack of knowledge as to the how or with the need for efficiency in our busy lives, people often resort to a consumer model that fits nicely into their everyday routines. This click-and-buy culture can exacerbate the disconnect to the valuable “relational” side of charitable giving and volunteer work. It takes time to create opportunities to connect the head and heart.
Last month CPC, Danville’s Community Presbyterian Church hosted our 7th Annual Serve Day. Partnering with 34 organizations, over 1900 volunteers spread out in all directions around our Valley and Bay Area to take action in making an impact. Volunteers packed 101,520 meals for Kids Against Hunger and their shipment left on Monday Oct 4th with Convoy of Hope for the Ukraine Border! Volunteers also packed 1,200 care bags for SF City Impact, CityTeam Oakland and Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond. Among many other projects, volunteers rescued and rescued and delivered over 8,000 meals with White Pony Express, built bikes for foster kids, came alongside three of our local schools, partnered with Pledge to Humanity, Teen Esteem, The Grange and many other organizations and nonprofits.
When volunteers are given an experience that feels meaningful and challenges their perceptions, not only are they more likely to keep volunteering, but they begin to see they are an important thread that makes up the fabric of our society. Volunteering is not just about helping, it is about belonging to our communities and to one another. Volunteering strengthens our ties to the community and broadens your support network. And to be frank, volunteering is just plain good for your heart and soul! Studies have shown that volunteering can help counteract the effects of stress, anger, anxiety and even depression. When we take the one-and-done approach, we short change ourselves and the agencies we are serving. Instead, when we stand side-by-side to help others, our differences fade away. The FOR movement at our church has begun to stir something really special in our people and community. We believe that the joy of serving and being for one another will have an immense impact in our San Ramon Valley. It will forge and build a strong love and care for global work. Being FOR others can change the world!
We know that many in our valley are giving back in incredible ways and we celebrate this. As the Christmas season approaches, there continue to be ways and areas to serve. Join the movement and serve our community with us! For more information visit cpcdanville.org/serve/community/ or follow us on social media @forthevalley
By Deana Dickerson, CPC, Resident since 2003