Reach Out RVA – the BEST thing Trinity has EVER done!
Many thanks to all of those who served this weekend at Reach Out RVA!!! Special appreciation to those who served as team leaders – Karen Adams, Rob Spotts, Anne Burch, Bill Burch, Linda Latimer, Bob Argabright, Louise Girvin, Tom and Pam Rockhold, Wendy Floyd and Katie Swartz! We were blessed with incredible weather as we went out to serve. We had 17 shifts available for people to sign up to serve – and we had 182 volunteers reach out! The team at Sherbourne emptied 280 bags of food that another team helped deliver on Friday morning. Their shelves aren’t empty anymore! The Saturday team at The Doorways made lunches for those currently residing there while their loved ones are hospitalized. The Sunday team at The Doorways did a lot of cleaning – especially washing windows! The team at OakGrove School did much needed weeding – as well as planting. At CrossOver Clinic both teams worked together to paint a hallway and a bathroom. The teams at the City of Richmond and the East End Cemetery cleared a lot of debris and picked up trash. The two teams at Habitat ReStore cleaned, sorted and organized items for sale. The team at James River cleanup did just that – and the team at Habitat for Humanity landscaped the yards of two new homes which included planting and mulching. The team at Shalom Farms harvested sweet potatoes. The team at the Gallagher 5K helped to organize and cheer on the runners and walkers. We also had a team who worked at the PACE Center at VCU.
All we can say is WOW !!!!
Well done, good and faithful servants!! To God be the Glory!
In Their Own Words:
Chris Smith participated in Reach Out RVA at the East End Cemetary. Here’s what he had to say about the experience:
Sorry for a long commentary, but sometimes life’s ironies are too well placed to ignore. So today, Nell and I, along with several other Trinity members, worked cleaning overgrowth at East End Cemetery in RVA. I wanted to take a “before” and “after” picture in a section , so I zoomed in on one headstone and took the “before” picture (picture 1). Then we got to work clearing land. As we cleared land, I thought about how these people were loved. At one time had a life of service. At one time lived in Richmond. And it had come to this. Some random Richmonders cleaning brush that had enveloped their final resting spot. But that made them no less real, and no less loved. So as we cleared the tombstone that I took a picture of, imagine my thoughts as I read the name on it! (Picture 2). Now we know this is not the Robert E Lee that was the Confederate General. But this Robert E Lee served in WW1. He was a man of service to our country. He was absolutely a “real” Robert E Lee. And I was honored to have cleared his grave today. And oh yeah — the irony? There is one other thing we know about this real Robert E Lee. He was African American. You see, East End Cemetery was reserved for African Americans. The honor was mine today Mr. Lee. Thank you for your service. May God continue to bless your soul, and may you forever Rest In Peace.
From Nancy Coddington:
Many thanks to the organizers! This was a great event. Met some new people, reconnected with others I already knew and hopefully made a difference at Oakgrove Bellemeade. God smiled on us by providing a beautiful day for those of us involved in outdoor projects. Thanks for the opportunity, dear Trinity!
Trinity “kicked off” the fall in service to others. We came together over multiple weeks during the frenzy of back-to-school season to serve our city and care for our community.
Our serving began all the way back at Vacation Bible School in July, as our kids collected school supplies to share with students at Oak Grove Belemede. Our VBS students collected 598 regular glue sticks, 14 large glue sticks, 148 wide ruled composition books, 44 college ruled composition books, 18 wide ruled spiral notebooks, 11 college ruled spiral notebooks, 9 packages of notebook paper, 4 grid composition books, 1 box of colored pencils, and one box of #2 pencils.
In addition to the supplies given by our children, we also put up our Oak Grove Apple Tree this year and every single apple was taken. These bags upon bags of donations were given to the teachers at Oak Grove Belemede as they began their back-to-school preparations.
While collecting for those teacher wish lists, we also took on a new project this year, and began to collect new shoes in order to help with the New Shoes for Back to School Ministry in partnership with Third Street Bethel A.M.E. Church. Labor Day weekend volunteers from Trinity joined others from around the area to distribute shoes to students from our city.
We then turned quickly from glue sticks and shoes to food and spent weeks gathering food for our friends at the Sherbourne food pantry. This Sherbourne “Blitz” filled our collection boxes and overflowed into our hallways leading up to our Reach Out RVA 2.0 weekend.
This event, begun in 2017, allows congregation members to fan out into our community and serve with many local partners. On Friday, September 7, we sent two teams out–one to Sherbourne UMC’s food bank and one to Feed More. We delivered 170 bags of groceries to Sherbourne, and our team at Feed More prepared 1,080 boxes of food for elderly shut-ins.
The forecasted rainstorms for Saturday and Sunday mostly held off, leaving our outdoor work teams with proper working conditions. Together we cleaned up at the James River, East End Cemetery, Oak Grove, Community Food Collaborative, and the CrossOver Clinic; served at the Doorways and the Habitat ReStore and did landscaping for a Habitat home.
In total we had 182 people sign up for Reach Out RVA 2.0, giving of their time on a busy fall weekend to bless our community.
Sunday afternoon our celebratory meal of fried chicken, coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, and rolls hit the spot. The signature desserts brought in were a hit too, but the surprise of the afternoon turned out to be a dunking booth. Somehow, Pastor Larry, Associate Pastor Drew Willson, Youth Director Bryce Miller, and perhaps Trinity’s number one advocate, Shaw Blackmon, were coaxed into being the targets for the dunking booth.
Bryce wore a wet suit, Shaw a basketball uniform while sporting a bold yellow curly wig, Pastor Larry wore a traditional baptism robe wrapped in a bright orange life preserver, and Drew wore his bathing suit accompanied with an umbrella. By the time our strong armed Trinity members were finished tossing at the target, no part of Larry, Drew, Bryce, or Shaw were dry!!
We thank you for your participation in making Reach Out RVA 2.0 a success. With your help, people outside the walls of Trinity were impacted, and that’s just what we hoped would happen.
If you are willing, we would appreciate your thoughts about the weekend. Follow the link below, and let us know what worked, what didn’t work for you. Offer Feedback Offer Feedback
As we move firmly into fall, we hope that all who participated will reflect back on our Reach Out RVA 2.0 theme from Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” and continue to seek ways to serve our city!
Trinity In Action
Check out these photos from our fall service projects and Reach Out RVA.
Thanks to everyone who signed up to volunteer in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Reach Out RVA. Over thirty Trinity members gave of their time at Feed More, the Sherbourne Food Pantry, Doorways, the Community Food Collaborative, and Leaves Disappear.
At Feed More, ten volunteers packaged 1200 boxes of food items for malnourished seniors and 150 bags of food for furloughed federal employees. Ten more volunteers transported 103 bags of food to the Sherbourne Food Pantry. Once at the pantry these volunteers sorted and stocked the food items. A Trinity family plus friends worked at the Community Food Collaborative near Fairfield Middle School in Henrico County. General cleanup, pre-spring weeding of beds, and mulching took place at this garden.
Over at Doorways, a team of four removed, packed, and stored all of the Christmas items. Another team, a part of Leaves Disappear, assisted a young at heart family in clearing their yard of leaves. We appreciate the nonprofits who collaborated with us, and we thank all of the volunteers who gave of their time to make a difference.