Tuesday, January 13, 2015

WORK DAY Number Three Is on the Horizon

Saturday, April 25, is a day that will go down in history; at least it should. For the third time in as many years, Men's NetWork groups across the country will pull out their work gloves, hammers, saws, rakes, paint brushes, and ladders to help make a difference in their neighborhoods and communities. We realize calling it the Men's NetWork WORK DAY is probably not the most original name we could have come up with, but it's short and to the point. Last year 794 men from 47 different Men's NetWork groups in 18 states participated.

WORK DAY has slowly morphed over the last two years -- in a good way. In year one most of groups pretty much reserved their work for their churches and schools. They painted classrooms, cleared gutters, and spruced up flowerbeds. That being said, there were a few adventurous groups that went beyond church property to help shut-in members or single mothers.

In both years quite a few groups in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Georgia traveled to Lutheran and other summer camps in their area to help with maintenance, spring cleaning, and getting the camps ready for the upcoming season.

But last year something else happened: several groups reached out to their communities, beyond church property. A Nebraska group spent the day building houses with Habitat for Humanity. One Illinois group cleaned the tree line along a community bike path. Another Illinois group volunteered at the Special Olympics spring games. A Washington group cleaned up litter in the Adopt-A-Road program. A California grouped supported foster children. One Colorado group did spring cleaning for six Bethesda Lutheran Communities homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Another Colorado group helped a neighbor fill and level out his yard, after an irrigation pipe broke.

If you live far enough north, April 25 may not be a suitable date. That's okay. One of our Canadian groups was forced to wait until summer, but when it finally warmed up they offered to do odd jobs too small for local contractors such as trimming a tree, fixing a doorstep, or replacing a light bulb in a high place difficult to reach. They publicized their availability locally and did the work for free. Many of their neighbors insisted on donating, so they were able to use those donations to sponsor two youth to go to the National Youth Gathering.

Guys in the Men's NetWork enjoy getting together for breakfast, a cookout, or an evening Bible study. But there's nothing quite as satisfying as getting out, working side by side, and doing something great for the community, or for those who can't help themselves. If your group would like to participate this year, click here to see the details.

If you don't belong to a group but would like to see if there is one nearby, click here.

Do you have ideas for projects you'd like to pass along? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please click here to share your suggestions.

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