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3 churches combining forces to help others
Volunteer Orrin McClellon plans his next cut while volunteer Gary Barton works high above as part of the 2nd Saturday effort of Cross Grace Community Church in March. - photo by HIME ROMERO
More than 1,500 members from three Manteca congregations are skipping Sunday services on Oct. 10.

Instead, they are going to be “Takin’ it to the Streets” as part of a Christian outreach beyond the four walls of their respective churches.

“The goal is to make a difference in the community,” noted Jim Todd, outreach minister at Crossroads Grace Community Church that is coordinating the event dubbed 10-10-10 as it takes place on the tenth day of the tenth month of the 10th year of the century - Oct. 10, 2010.

The three churches are New Hope, Northgate Community, and Crossroads Grace Community.

A new website - - has been established. Links to the websites of the three churches can be found there as well as a release form that participants must fill out. The specific projects will be posted shortly.

The projects include assisting the city with municipal clean-up endeavors as well as the elderly and those who are ill among other outreach efforts.

“We are hoping to see others in the community not affiliated with the three churches to join in,” Todd said. “Last year we had people coming up to us when we were volunteering saying that they’d like to help next time.”

Among the projects being finalized for this year are weeding and barking the basins of more than 200 trees that were planted last year along Moffat Boulevard, trimming hedges along the Tidewater Bike Path, trimming landscaping beds and spreading bark at Woodward Park, reorganization of a clothing area at Haven of Peace, visiting three rest homes to interact with the elderly, assisting an elderly lady with removing of two trees near her foundation and splitting the wood, doing handyman work for several residents of the Coralwood Mobile Home Park, painting City of Manteca fire hydrants, 15 teams  for street connecting with Gospel tracts, prayer teams, helping organize items at the HOPE Family Shelter, landscape work at the HOPE transitional housing units, painting eight interior rooms at HOPE’s Raymus House, gardening on the Shasta School grounds, preparing and serving lunch for 1,500 volunteers at Woodward Park, painting a kitchen and fence for a French Camp elderly couple, helping an elderly widow with home maintenance, sorting and cleaning at the Second Harvest Food bank, and a county road clean-up.

The outreach last year was a solo act of Crossroads Grace with the biggest project being the planting of the 200 trees along Moffat Boulevard.

The one-day outreach is an outgrowth of Crossroad grace’s monthly 2nd Saturday of each month where various church volunteers do similar work in the community.

Last year, for example, they harvested more than six tons of citrus fruit from residential yards - oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and lemons - and delivered them to various food banks. They concentrated on the fruit above six feet unless the homeowner wanted it all taken off so it wouldn’t be wasted.

“They (the food banks) told us they could use all they could get and still not meet the need,” Todd said.