Making a difference

Published 9:40 am Wednesday, October 24, 2012

National event focuses on others

COAL GROVE — Each year on the fourth Saturday in October, people across the nation focus a little a little less on themselves and a little more on others by participating in Make a Difference Day.

For the last 15 years, Coal Grove Church of the Nazarene has joined them.

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The national, annual event started more than 20 years ago, and 15 years ago, church member Lillian Gates heard about it and got her church involved. They continue to reach out to others. Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Coal Grove Church of the Nazarene in the Family Life Center, the church will have clothing, household items, including some furniture, food, health screenings and entertainment to give away.

The event is open to the community and Pastor Jeff Canfield said in the past they have had a great turnout with people coming from all over the Tri-State. They are hoping for an even better crowd this year.

“We’ve had as many as 200 people lined up when we opened the doors,” Canfield said, though he noted that last year they saw a lower turnout. “We did have success though, and are hoping for more success.

“We are just providing a service for our community that we love and are a part of,” Canfield said. “Everything is free.”

Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital will provide free health screenings at the event from 9 a.m. until noon. Flu shots are also available at no charge to anyone with Medicare or Medicaid, or $20 for others.

Headstart will also be on site to register children or answer any questions about the program.

“We also go out into the community and meet some needs of people who need leaves raked or who need minor repairs to their homes,” Canfield said. “It’s a great way to get involved in the community we are ministering in.”

Homemade vegetable soup and chili will be served at the event and there will be activities, like face-painting and many others, for children and teenagers.

“A lot of times people will come in and bring their families, and we get to know them,” Canfield said. “We go ahead and get names and numbers and addresses in case in the future we can help out. They can contact us throughout the year if they are in need and we try to supply the need. It’s a one-day event that reaches across the year.”