Day of service to make impact

Sue Guinn Legg • Oct 13, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Area churches are inviting volunteers from across the area to Impact Johnson City, a day of service held annually in conjunction with National Make a Difference Day.

Open to everyone who would like to help their community and others less fortunate, the event will take place at the sites of 10 work projects planned at nonprofit organizations, city parks and private homes across the city Oct. 27.

This year’s event will also include a blood drive for Marsh Regional Blood Center and a food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee to be conducted throughout the day in the parking lot of Toys R Us on North Roan Street.

This year’s work projects will include home repairs with Appalachia Service Project; landscaping at the Boys and Girls Club and the Interfaith Hospitality Network day center for homeless families with children; interior updates at Coalition for Kids; beautification projects at several city parks; and more.

While the event is organized by local United Methodist churches and a number of churches of various denominations take part the work projects, Dianna Cantler at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church emphasized Impact Johnson City is “not just a church function, not just a United Methodist function, but a day for everyone” who would like to volunteer their time and skills to help others or to learn more about the work of service organizations in their community.

“We find that there are a lot of people want to serve but don’t know how or where. We do this to give everyone a chance to serve and to learn more about some of the organizations in the community that are here every day. It’s open to anyone and it’s for everyone anywhere in the area,” Cantler said.

A complete list of projects for volunteers to choose from are available online at www.impactjc.org. The list includes full- and half-day projects, projects that are accommodating to families with children and other ways to help.

Cantler encouraged those who would like to join in to visit the website, select a project and sign up, individually or with a team of friends, coworkers, neighbors or club members.

Now in its third year, Impact Johnson City has been recognized by the Johnson City Parks and Recreation Department for its impact on city parks.

And for the first time this year, it is being held in conjunction with East Tennessee State University. More than 400 volunteers took park in last year’s service projects and because of the new partnership with ETSU, the goal for this year is 600 volunteers.

The day will begin at 8 a.m. with a kickoff celebration in the Toys R Us parking lot at 1910 N. Roan St. where instructions for each of the work projects and Impact Johnson City T-shirts for every volunteer will be distributed.

The Marsh Blood Center’s mobile unit will be set in the parking lot to collect blood donations from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. And live music will be provided by Chris Eger throughout the day.

Donations of nonperishable food items to be distributed by the food bank at Christmas may be dropped off at the Toys R Us parking lot on the day of service or during the prior week leading up to the event at Munsey and at First, Wesley, Fairhaven and Cherokee United Methodist churches and the Johnson City Cooperative Parish.

To register, visit www.impactjc.org or call Munsey at 461-8070 for assistance.

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