McCORDSVILLE — Maddie Smith had a scoop of soy. Her sister, Olivia, had a scoop of dehydrated vegetables.
Add a scoop of rice and a packet of 23 vitamins and minerals, and you had a meal.
The Smith sisters were among more than 170 people gathered at Outlook Christian Church on Saturday morning, packaging more than 30,000 meals that Stop Hunger Now, a North Carolina-based nonprofit formed in 1998, will ship around the world.
“I don’t think other people should be hungry when they go to sleep,” said Maddie, 11.
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The packing party was one of several service projects members engaged in as part of the church’s “One Day To Go,” an annual event that brings church members into the community to celebrate through acts of service.
That same morning, another crew from the church put in hours giving back at Lambwear Inc., sorting and packing clothing to distribute to children in need. Another team gathered food the church donated during a one-month food drive, sorting it and delivering it to Angel Connection, a McCordsville food pantry. Another team was rained out but has rescheduled for Saturday to stain benches and a bridge at McCordsville Town Hall Park, in addition to spreading 100 yards of mulch to beautify the area.
Mulching the trail when it was new was a service day project a few years ago. Rob McCord, senior minister, said the church has been doing the event for eight to 10 years, in recent years calling it One Day to Go.
“It’s important to us because Jesus mandated that his followers would serve the world,” he said. “We just want to love through action.”
Kevin Harvey, a church elder who coordinates the event, said announcements at church for three to four weeks out highlighted the serving opportunities, and people could sign up electronically at stations in the church commons area or online.
He said this is the first year to develop a theme; this year’s event had an anti-hunger focus, with many of the serving opportunities dealing with combating hunger in some way. Harvey led a team that performed the quarterly deep cleaning at Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen in Greenfield, pulling appliances to the center of the floor to wash the walls behind them and sweep and mop the floors.
The volunteers also cleaned appliances inside and out. They also washed up tables, chairs and light fixtures in the dining room, in addition to disinfecting the public bathroom and the conference room.
The night before their visit, another Outlook couple installed wainscoting along the west wall of the dining area, an effort funded by other church members.
They were not the only volunteers completing their One Day to Go project on a different day. Wednesday, a team prepared a meal at the church, and another team drove it to The PourHouse, a homeless shelter in Indianapolis, to serve it.
As people passed by, they were handed a turkey-ham-provolone sandwich, a bag of chips, two homemade cookies and a water bottle, with coleslaw available on the side for those who wanted a little something extra.
Team leader John Winegard said the evening was not merely about serving a meal but about building relationships.
“It was about getting people out of the seats and into the streets,” he said. “When Jesus preached to the people, … what he talked about was our relationships with one another. … You can’t have a relationship with people if you’re sitting in your pews and never … outside your comfort zone.”
Harvey, too, sees One Day to Go as bigger than a one-time event.
“We first hope that we’re a blessing to those whom we serve,” he said. “Secondarily, we’re hoping the members of our congregation increase their awareness … (and) instill a decision to engage in a lifestyle of service.”
Outlook Christian Church is gathering items to give to The PourHouse’s Project Overflow, designed to help people who are homeless better weather the winter. On Nov. 12, The PourHouse will distribute items at an Indianapolis park, with a punch card to help visitors make their one visit to each station. Items can be dropped off in a large metal bin in Outlook’s commons area. If you have questions, call 317-335-6815.
Useful items to donate include:
- Men’s casual long sleeved shirts/sweaters (XL-3X)
- Men’s sweatshirts/hoodies (XL-3X)
- Men’s boots (8-15)
- Men’s coats, overalls, snow pants
- Men’s hats, gloves and scarves
- Men’s socks and underwear (M-3X)