WEST SPRINGS — A week-long project based in West Springs is beneficial to community members in need as well as participating volunteers.
The West Springs Project — hosted by West Springs Baptist Church — has been going strong for six years. Each year, a group of youth and adult volunteers spend a week together, worshiping the Lord and serving others in the community. They spend the night at the church; wake up in the morning to a devotion and breakfast; head to a work site; break for lunch; get back to work until the evening, when they head back to church for showers, a devotion, games, and dinner which is cooked and served by church members.
Work in the community during this year’s project — which ran from Sunday, June 8-Friday, June 13 — included tree cutting and yard work at a Jonesville home, where the resident is suffering medical problems. The group also completed yard work, as well as scraping and painting at the Dove Mountain Ministry, near Mt. Lebanon.
For the past three years, the West Springs Project has been led by Scott and Tami Garrett.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Tami said. “It really brings the group together, while serving Christ and serving others. It’s like a mission trip but right here in Union County.”
Many of the church members contribute to the project. Larry and Linda Bennett invited volunteers to come to their house as a break from the heat, and they also cooked a spaghetti dinner for the group one evening. Joan Stevens hosted a pool party for the group on Friday after a week of hard work. Church pastor Greg Black also participated, leading devotions and helping judge fun contests in the evening.
Tami said their friend Rodney Petty passed away last year, during the project, and participants attended his graveside services.
“He helped out with the West Springs Project a lot, and he really wanted to see it keep going,” Tami said.
Youth volunteer Michael Bennett summed up his thoughts on the project.
“It’s an awesome week,” he said.
Bennett mentioned some of the evening activities such as trivia, flashlight hide-and-seek, and talent shows.
“The activities are fun, but there’s a true joy you get when you help others,” he said. “We get more out of it than the people we’re helping.”
Bennett said the project is a team effort, and he said project leaders make sacrifices for the group. He pointed out that Scott Garrett took a week off work to lead the project.
“They don’t want any credit, but people don’t realize the sacrifices some of our leaders make,” Bennett said. “They are the unsung heroes. They’re great.”
Bennett also reiterated the true reason for the project.
“God gave us everything,” he said. “The least we can do is show others some of the love He showed us.”