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Neighbors helping neighbors

September 19, 2011

Shannon Bragg, from left, the Rev. Gary Bragg and Brad Burns unroll tar paper on the roof of a residence on East Silver Street Saturday during Servants Day.

From painting and plumbing to roofing and yard work, residents could be found throughout the Wapakoneta area helping each other Saturday.
The purpose for the second-consecutive Servants Day — is neighbor helping neighbor.
Hosted by the Wapakoneta Area Ministerial Association (WAMA), groups of volunteers worked on houses in need of repair. Homes were recommended for the work by other members of the community or interested residents could apply themselves for a group to help them out. In total, 30 were on Saturday’s schedule.
The service day developed from discussions about the city’s comprehensive plan, with a group of residents appointed to help with non-legislative issues in the community coming up with the idea.
WAMA members wanted to become involved in active Christian service through the project, Servant Day cordinator Rachel Barber said.
“It came from an idea by the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee,” Barber said. “Some just did not have the ability to keep up with their homes. People who volunteer get as much out of it as the people who help.”
She said it helps everyone look at the bigger picture and gives those involved a great deal of satisfaction as “neighbors help neighbors.”
One hundred twenty-five volunteers of all ages and skill levels helped with this year’s Servants Day.
“It was time to do something good for the community,” said Terry Farley, who brought his wife and son-in-law out to East Silver Street on Saturday to reroof part of a home, after hearing about the service day at church.
His wife, Marianne Farley, said not only were they giving back to others through their work, which extended from early morning to late afternoon, but it was fun, too. And it’s something the family would definitely do again.
Nancy Newland came out again this year after helping with Servants Day in the community last year.
“It’s something I can do,” Newland said of painting and interior trim work as well as sealing the bottom of a garage, which were on her agenda for the day. “It’s good for the community and doesn’t cost a dime.”
She said as for those they are helping, most can’t believe it.
“They are so appreciative,” Newland said.
Nearly every church in the community and all ages were represented in some way giving their time throughout the day.
Twelve-year-old Tristan Meyer used the day to build service hours as he works toward becoming an Eagle Scout.
Working outside Saturday, Meyer helped landscape the front yard and plant trees.
“It gets me out of the house and its fun to work with other people,” Meyer said. “I enjoy helping others.”

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