RIPON — Volunteers are being recruited for a huge community work day late in April to make a difference in the needs of the city, its schools and its citizens.
It’s a takeoff on a very successful event in Modesto first held two years ago and tagged “Love Modesto.”
Ripon City Councilman Chuck Winn presented a similar “Love Ripon” program to fellow Ripon City Council members at their regular meeting Tuesday night. Winn said the event is designed to demonstrate kindness and the encouraging of continued service to the community.
In Modesto there were over 1,200 volunteers donating over 38,000 hours of their time in giving back to their city. At minimum wage that represented $308,000.
Ripon churches through the Ministerial Association have been holding meetings recently among their members to design the most meaningful approach to the needs of the community. City officials have already provided a list of potential projects that the work day can tackle.
Winn said it is an outreach of the churches in the community. However there will be no evangelism taking place in the project only the wearing of “Love Ripon” T-shirts with human beings helping human beings.
“I know those who have helped before go back and help again on their own,” he said.
Already on the list of priorities are various community projects to assist the city, schools and those in need. Property trash cleanup and work on the high school sports stadium, supporting military families in the community, a food drive, offering food to the hungry, possibly giving blood and encouragement toward the seniors living at the Bethany Convalescent Home campus.
At the school sites, volunteers will work with principals and be assigned to specific projects that have been low on the priority schedules because of the budget cuts in the current economy.
The councilman was emphatic in saying that the “Ripon quality of life is special because of the people who live in the community” and this is an opportunity for other citizens to further demonstrate that quality by giving back.
Matt Householder of the Ripon Grace Church briefly addressed the council as did Marge Infeld, president of the Ripon Chamber of Commerce, in support of the program.
Seven Ripon churches have had representatives meeting regularly during the week to formulate the “Love Ripon” program.
The churches and their representatives working together in addition to Householder are Bob DeJong of Emanuel, Don Rowe of Calvary, Dustin Hoekstra of Almond Valley, Hefty Brunold of Heartland, Mary Ann Sybesma of Ripon Christian Schools and Zion Church, and Brent Boersma of Almond Valley Church.
Almond Valley’ Dustin Hoekstra said that the reason the members of the Ripon Ministerial Association have been holding multiple meetings is because they all want to do this right.
Don Rowe of Calvary Church is acting as the point man and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The progress of the “Love Ripon” day can be monitored on a website as well at www.LoveRipon.com. The “Love Modesto” group was lauded for providing the expertise in setting up Ripon’s website. They were recipients of a congratulatory letter from President Obama at the conclusion of their last event.
Every citizen in the community is welcome to join in the event that will be launched on April 28 at 9 a.m. Team leaders will meet with their particular work groups at the rally point and set out to accomplish more than a day’s work.
In addition to the various work projects, there is also a plan to have a one day kids’ sports camp included in the equation.
While the city council members demonstrated their support Tuesday night, “Love Ripon” was only presented. The city is expected to give its vote of approval at their next council meeting in the first week of November.