Some say they are the backbone of every church as they quietly go about their work, others say they’re the heart of the church, but to many volunteers, they are doing what they enjoy and are following a calling from God.
“Giving to others makes you feel fulfilled,” said Brian Dallimore, who volunteers at The Crossing Church. He has devoted many hours to the church and is always happy to do a little more. “I go wherever they feel I have the talent to help”
But there’s one project that keeps him busy and has given him a new perspective in life and in helping others. “I lead the Mexico home build team,” he said. “Twice a year I take volunteers to Rosarita, in the back hills of Tijuana.
“We work hand in hand with Homes of Hope in Mexico. A team of 15 to 20 can build a home in just one weekend. If we get up to 55 volunteers on a team, we can build three to four homes in one weekend.”
Homes of Hope does all the preparations for each team, he said. “They provide all material and tools and have a campus where the team can stay during their weekend. They do all the leg work. We just show up and start building. We do pay for the materials ourselves, but they do all the rest.”
Building homes for those in need has given him a better understanding of different cultures and values. “I see what people have to live with and what they’re dealing with. It has given me great compassion.
“My volunteer work is based upon faith. It helps me to grow in faith and it has given me a better connection with God,” he said.
“Giving to others makes you feel fulfilled, living out the life that Christ would have you live out. It’s meeting that calling. He wants us to be of service to him and to serve others.”
Sixteen-year-old Alex Morgan has also answered the call of service and helps as much as she can at Indigo Valley Church. She assists in many areas of the church, but it’s her technical ability that has created a new path of volunteering.
“It’s extremely difficult to learn all the technology, but I have learned it and like to help others. Especially with their smartphones. They can be hard to learn and who wants to read a manual, if it takes five pages just to tell you how to turn the phone on?” she said.
She has set up classes to reach the most people. “When they come they already have a few questions prepared but the class is interactive, just an extension of what they already know. We have a lot of fun”
She has a friend who helps her. “She has an Android and I have an iPhone so we can help anyone. At the last class I showed them how to Skype and shared a few little tricks on social media. And we explain how to use their settings. People don’t even realize how much they can control their own phone.”
New classes will start in the fall and will also be open to the community.
Morgan also leads a children’s ministry that cycles on various Sundays. “We learn about God and different religions and how to accept each other. Everyone’s different and that’s OK. We can make the world a better place just by being kind to one another,” she said.
“I have a strong spiritual calling and my church lets me help others. It is such a great blessing,” she added.
Jeff Bell from Mountain View Church is another volunteer who said he not only loves to help others, but has gotten closer to God through his service.
He works in the church food pantry distributing food to the needy. “We help a lot of veterans and returning families,” he said. The pantry is open Monday through Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m.
The church receives donations from markets around town, from church members and from Three Square food bank. It all has to be sorted and prepared for the pantry shelves.
”We get 15 to 20 boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables alone, and it takes 10 to 15 volunteers to serve 500 people a month,” Bell said.
“We enjoy helping people and knowing we can be of service to the community. We enjoy it because we’re doing God’s work,” he added.
Volunteers will also pray for those in need.
“Some people really need us,” Bell said. “We listen to them if they want to talk and share with them the different ways our church can help. We have an addiction ministry, seniors ministry, women’s ministry and even a prison ministry.”
Bell said he has also learned a lot about working with people in need and not to judge them. “Our church understands the importance of helping others. It can be a lot of work but it’s worth it. We feel warm in our hearts knowing God is working through our hands.”