At least 100 volunteers from Cornerstone Church in Moulton participated in the church's annual global event known as Serve Day, which saw congregation members donate their time and skills to different projects throughout the community on Saturday.
Susan Cheryl, a church leader with Cornerstone in Moulton, said the event is held every second Saturday in July annually, but the Moulton church holds its own smaller community service day every first Saturday of each month as well.
"For this year, this was the biggest community service event hosted by the church," Cheryl said Cornerstone has hosted a church-wide Serve Day event for the past four years, which have included community service projects for Lawrence County schools.
"One year we revamped the whole field house at R.A. Hubbard. We painted, pressure washed, and did sheet rock work. It was a really big project," she said. "We also did a project at East Lawrence High School one year where we planted a garden and did some pressure washing and painting for their special needs group."
This year, the church hosted their annual Serve Day a little differently. Although the congregation didn't gather for one large project, Cheryl said church members volunteered for a project among a list of several happening at various locations throughout the community.
This year, those efforts included sprucing up the grounds and working a couple of maintenance and refurbishing projects at the Jackson House in Moulton, participating in the community mural started by the Moulton Lions Club at the site of the Court Street fire, offering free haircuts to residents at the Moulton Dream Center, hosting a Kids Jam at Papa Diggs Park in Courtland, feeding nurses and taking up donations for gifts for patients at Decatur West Psychiatric Ward, singing at the Lawrence County Jail, painting windows and refurbishing shrubbery at NHC Healthcare in Moulton, or building a ramp at the Serenity transitional house for recovering women in Town Creek.
"We've had some huge projects in the past. This year, it seemed like smaller projects, but it was so powerful," said Cheryl.
She said the church partnered with other organizations like the Moulton Lions Club, NHC, and the Jackson House Foundation to come with ideas for projects.
"I called (Lions Club President) Mr. Jerome Thompson, and asked him where there was a need in the community. You know, I asked him what they were working on and what we could partner with them on," she said. "He asked me to help them complete the mural they started on the Moulton Square, and he put me in touch with Mrs. Tammy Roberts (director of the Jackson House Foundation), to see what they needed."
Roberts said volunteers pressure washed sidewalks and the foundation of the historic Jackson House, mowed the lawn and weeded the grounds, removed old carpeting from the landing at the top of the houses staircase, and sprayed roundup in the cracks of the Jackson House parking area.
"We really appreciate everything they did, and for adding us to the long list of projects (Saturday)," she said.
Cheryl said church members were able to select projects that best utilized their talents and expertise. For example, hair stylists and members who have salon experience volunteered to give free haircuts at Moulton Dream Center, while members with an artistic and creative talent chose to help with the Moulton Mural.
"We try to do a mixture of things where we're hitting different spectrums of the community," Cheryl said. "The way we come up with our projects is broadly based on the heart of our congregation. We have an app that you can just submit your Serve, which is like submitting the project."
She said the project at Decatur General West was the prime example of a congregation member "submitting a Serve," that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.
"One of our congregation members works at Decatur General and asked if we could feed the nurses at the Psychiatric Ward. We fed them Chick-fil-A," she said. "This church member sees patients, these kids coming in with nothing but the clothes on their back. We were able to reach that group that maybe no one else would have known about."
She said volunteers who helped with that project also donated flip flops, coloring books and toys to the facility's patients.
According to Cheryl's log, she said anywhere from 100 to 125 volunteers turned out for the 2020 Serve Day, and the group reached at least eight organizations and facilities throughout Lawrence County and in Decatur.