HAWLEY - Eager to help their neighbors, many were out and about, around Hawley earlier this month to take part in the annual Church has Left the Building project.
On this day, volunteers from congregations throughout the borough travel around town to complete odd and end jobs that are needed, whether at the library, the park and more.
Churches that participated include 1st Presbyterian Church of Hawley; St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hawley; Hawley United Methodist Church; Hemlock Grove United Methodist Church; Lakeville United Methodist Church; and Lake Ariel United Methodist Church.
For some, it meant packaging 86 bags for “Dinners on US,” that pastors from six churches may take to someone in the community in need. The bags contain full meals with macaroni and cheese, chicken, milk, dessert and more.
A volunteer, Ginny Hack said she simply loves helping the community, because it “stems from the golden rule” of treating others how you want to be treated and so, she hopes if she ever needs help, others would assist her. If someone were to bring her food, that Hack said would show people care about her.
A Sunday school teacher, Gail Burnett said aside from helping out in her community, taking part in the day was a way to set an example for children and show that its important to be involved in their community. The day was simply “awesome” and the reality is that with so many volunteers, “many hands make light work.”
There were also volunteers taking part in Project Linus, where they spoofed up blankets that would be given to children in Wayne County. Holly Hubert, the chapter coordinator for Wayne County said volunteers were busy “spiffing” the blankets up, by making little alterations. The organization is always accepting blankets that are quilted, knitted or crocheted.
Hubert said no matter a person’s skill, the “blanketeers” can do so much for Project Linus. The blankets altered September 16 will likely be given to the Salvation Army during Christmas. For that program alone, Hubert said the chapter has given over a thousand blankets a year for the last four years. For more information about Project Linus, visit projectlinus.org.
A “blanketeer,” Gail Endorf called Project Linus “wonderful” because the work is easy and it is a “worthy cause” since the blankets are for children who will get some comfort from the blankets.
Also a blanketeer, Cheryl Alford said she participates in Project Linus because it is a way to help others and fits her skill since it may mean just slicing the ends of some fleece blankets and then tying knots, which changes them a bit.
Outside of the Hawley Library, Lisa Levy and Alexa Bias were painting the library’s sign. Levy said the workday was a chance to help the community and “bring god’s grace, love and peace to everybody.” Despite feeling like “amateurs” doing such work, they were trying their best to stay in the lines.
The Director of the Hawley Library, Deborah Corcoran said the efforts of the volunteers were “amazingly significant” because the work they did, would probably not get done otherwise since funding is not available to hire people for such work. And so, she was “incredibly grateful” to the volunteers, who also replaced the roof on the bell enclosure that was quite the project.
A contractor by trade, Dave Boogertman has taken part in the day for years, and this year he was cutting wood for the bell enclosure. Boogertman said he enjoys doing the work because he then sees improvements happening.
During the day, Judy Rodonski was busy on the sidewalk “getting down and getting it done” she said, as she was removing weeds from the sidewalk. Rodonski too was involved because she loves her community, god and the feeling that comes from doing good. Rodonski said she believes everyone should do something to help others because it is the “right thing to do” and, it makes a person feel good.
Lindsey Boogertman who was working with Rodonski, said she was volunteering because she loves her community and with that, it was nice supporting others who were participating and working to make their community better; plus it “feels good to help.”