By Kayce Patton
For the fourth year in a row, SERVE Noblesville volunteers canvassed the community to complete service projects last month.
Working from June 22 to 25, Patrick Propst, chair of SERVE Noblesville and minister at Faith Community Church, gathered hundreds of volunteers to complete more than 50 projects to benefit the city in various ways.
In 2012, Propst began with SERVE after it became independent from another service group, Faith Hope and Love. Many SERVE volunteers worked with Faith, Hope and Love, which serves the Indianapolis community.
“(When SERVE started,) the partnering groups were all churches and part of their motivation was to offer to the community the reality that churches can work together,” Propst said. “While providing some good work of service back to the community, that was needed.”
As it has gained respect from those in the community, Propst said it has been a catalyst for giving people an opportunity to connect people through giving back.
“That’s actually what SERVE Noblesville is really about, is just connecting people to other people,” he said.
In the beginning, SERVE Noblesville had 450 “volunteer days” (meaning the initiative of 100 percent volunteer work counted over the days was 450 people), but Propst said several of those volunteers may have been counted more than once.
After the first few years, the numbers moved up to approximately 600 volunteers, and this year, Propst said he’s seen more than 700 volunteers come out to help.
Also growing since its inception is the number of projects completed. In its first year, 12 projects were planned and completed compared to this year’s 52.
One example is Crafts for a Cause, where volunteers craft clothing and other necessities for those in need and provide products for various local organizations.
The group focuses on projects that directly benefit Noblesville and its citizens but also has serviced those in surrounding communities. Other groups also have served alongside them, including the Boys and Girls Club of Noblesville, Noblesville Main Street, Keep Noblesville Beautiful, the City of Noblesville, Habitat for Humanity and area churches, among others.
“We will take on nearly any project that comes to us,” Propst said.
Examples of projects completed last week include lawn care and beautification, collecting donations and hauling them to specific locations, a blood drive, roof work at different businesses and sidewalk repair. Propst said he believes projects like these build morale among volunteers for their community.
The process for choosing projects begins in January, and volunteers begin reaching out to contacts and networks for ideas of projects to be done in the community.
Propst said sometimes a project only takes one person who is knowledgeable in a specific area to teach a team of five, and other times, many projects are open for anyone and everyone to work on. Professionals have even come and offered their workers for a few days to help get the projects done.
Propst said he has a large planning team behind him that ensures projects are completed. Volunteer members from partnering organizations meet monthly year round to plan.
For more on how to get involved as a partner or volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 PROJECTS COMPLETED
- More than 18 home repairs
- Crafts with a Cause
- U Call, We Haul
- Neighborhood Blitzes
- Fence paintings
- Blood drive
- Kitchen repairs/remodels
- Bathroom repairs/remodels
- Brick sidewalk repairs
- Food packing
- Teen sweep
- Roofing at the Humane Society for Hamilton County
- Forest Park repairs and painting
- Landscaping throughout city
- Photographing projects
- Praying teams
WHO HELPS OUT?
- Bethel Lutheran Church
- Boys and Girls Club of Noblesville
- Children’s Bureau, Inc.
- Christmas in Action
- City of Noblesville
- Clarksville Christian Church
- Duke Energy
- Faith Community Church
- The Gathering
- Grace Church
- Green Valley Church of Christ
- Green Vista Landscaping
- Habitat for Humanity
- Hamilton County Fairgrounds & Exhibition Center
- Humane Society of Hamilton County
- Indiana Blood Center
- Keep Noblesville Beautiful
- Noblesville Main Street
- Noblesville Young Life
- Roots of Life Community Church
- White River Christian Church