More than 320 people from across western Washington signed up for an afternoon of service in Tacoma and Lakewood, Wash., at the end of August.
"This is a great event for our conference," says Michael Demma, Puyallup (Wash.) Church associate pastor, who brought a team of 24 volunteers. "This builds team spirit as we work together to make a difference in the community."
Volunteers chose from 16 service opportunities, including helping at a food bank, administering a community survey, distributing health information, giving away 1,000 water bottles, offering medical screenings, distributing GLOW tracts, beautifying a park, singing at a nursing home, seeking Bible-study interests and additional activities.
"Tacoma Community Service Impact Event was designed for people to try out different community service activities," says Byron Dulan, Washington Conference outreach ministries director. "We wanted to provide a venue for Adventist leaders, members and youth to experience new and different methods of witnessing and evangelizing people in the city."
Karalee Garcia, a young adult volunteer from Everett, Wash., decided to help administer a community survey and ended up finding several opportunities to pray with people. "We want to do a survey in our own community now," she says.
Ultimately, Dulan says, "We want to see churches host outreach days on their own — at whatever level."