It was a gray and rainy day in Millvale, but that didn’t stop a group of awesome volunteers from rolling up their sleeves and putting in some hard work. This past Saturday, May 14, a youth group from First United Church of Christ (First United), here in Millvale, joined other community members at the library to help with several projects around the backyard.
The biggest project of the day included hauling bricks out of the area between the library and our Teen Club House. This space will be redesigned as a patio for Tupelo Honey Teas. Once this space is completed there will be a lovely Tea Garden Patio, for patrons of the tea shop and library to enjoy!
Other projects included painting in the space that will become the new tea shop, laying mulch in the flower beds along the backyard, and cleaning out a basement. With the help of these hard workers, we were able to finish most of these projects before noon. The work we accomplished marks a huge checkpoint in a long process of perfecting our outdoor space at the Millvale Library.
This day was about more than the library, however. For Gary Filbert, the leader of the First United youth group, this day of service marked another important call to action. The members of this youth group were participating in a 30 Hour Famine to draw attention to and raise funds for families and individuals around the world who face hunger and food insecurity. Beginning Friday, the group began a fast that would last until Sunday morning. During this time the youth group aimed to raise $425, or enough money to feed one child for an entire year.
Filbert, who has been running his youth ministry for more than 20 years, has participated in the 30 Hour Famine before. In the past his youth group has raised upwards of $3,000 for the organization, which could then feed 7 children for an entire year with those funds. Filbert reflects on this process, saying “One of the kids made a comment [that he] remembers in years past we would complain about the work because we were hunger, and now as we got older we just do what we have to do to get it done. The kids are really growing, and they want to make a change in the world; this is just one of the ways they can do that.”
To learn more about First United’s efforts to raise money, or to donate to their cause, visit their profile on the WorldVision website.
The 30 Hour Famine is sponsored by WorldVision, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice.