FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 5, 2017
More than a dozen members of the Bethel Family Worship Center will trade hymnals for hammers and Bibles for paint on Saturday, June 10, when they gather outside a Ruskin Heights neighborhood home as part of the ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ initiative.
The volunteers will help a 39-year-old single mother diagnosed with a terminal lung condition make minor repairs to her home at 11407 Herrick Ave. from 9 a.m. to noon.
“As a Christ-centered local church in the Ruskin Heights area, our mission has been and is to help and support families in practical and meaningful ways,” said Clifton Holmes, one of the lead ministers at the Bethel Family Worship Center. “It is important to our congregation to help this homeowner because we would want the same help and support if we were in her situation.”
The ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ program was initiated by 5th District Councilwoman Alissia Canady, chairwoman of the city’s neighborhoods and public safety committee. The city’s Neighborhoods and Housing Services Department provides organizational assistance, but ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ is a volunteer program and not funded by the City of Kansas City.
“The ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ effort can only continue if and when other congregations and neighborhood groups come forward and express interest in volunteering,” said Shawn Kirkwood, diversion coordinator for the city’s neighborhoods and housing services department. Kirkwood helps property owners with code violations and acts as a liaison between the owners and housing court.
Program volunteers make minor repairs and do yard work at homes owned by senior citizens and persons with disabilities who have received citations for code violations, but are physically or financially unable to do the work. The city has identified several homes that could be part of the campaign.
For more information, contact Neighborhoods and Housing Services Department Communications/Community Liaison John Baccala by email at 816-513-3202.