(Photo: Elevation Church)
Over 50 churches in the Charlotte, N.C.-area will be preforming community service and caring for the poor on Saturday as part of LOVE Week.
Volunteers will work in locations across the city to clean-up parks, improve schools, feed the hungry and homeless, and serve the poor during the third annual event, organized by Elevation church, one of Charlotte's fastest growing megachurches.
Elevation spokesperson Tonia Bendickson told The Christian Post that "LOVE Week is the best opportunity for us to make an impact for our city. We partner with dozens [of] organizations like hospitals, senior centers, and schools."
Elizabeth Danko, an intern with Elevation, is participating in LOVE Week for the first time this year. She began early Wednesday by starting work on the Habitat for Humanity house that will be built throughout the week.
She told CP that she is excited to have "churches from all over the city come together. That is one of the unique things about LOVE Week. It's not one denomination, one church – it's partnering with churches and organizations across the city, and people are just excited to serve."
Danko also said that another goal of LOVE Week is to ensure that everyone can be involved no matter what their schedule is. Elevation is providing many different opportunities to serve, from making sandwiches for Urban Ministries to assembling hygiene kits and birthday bags for homeless children.
But for Danko, the event she is most excited about is one Elevation interns are putting together: a senior prom at a senior living center. "It's different, it's a way to spread love," she said.
LOVE Week started as an initiative of Elevation Church in 2010. In 2011, the effort grew in scope, serving more than 34,000 hours in collaboration with more than 25 churches. Elevation said their goal for 2012 is even bigger and that they are hoping for more than 50,000 service hours with 50 churches.
Forest Hill Church in Charlotte is one of the churches participating in this year's LOVE WEEK. Jen Cameron, director of local outreach for the church, told CP that what is "great about LOVE week is that churches will come together and join forces across the city. No one thinks about denominations."
She also said it's a great way for people to work with non-profits because they are on the front lines in serving people in the city.
This year's event will partner with more than 50 non-profit organizations like Crisis Assistance Ministry, Charlotte Rescue Mission, and Urban Ministry Center.
Andria Tindall, coordinator of Volunteers at Charlotte Rescue Mission (CRM), said that she is thankful for the volunteers coming to serve at her organization. Because the homeless shelter doesn't accept Federal or State funding, Tindall said they depend heavily on volunteers and donors for support.
CRM helps feed and take care of the homeless, and during LOVE Week volunteers will be helping to cook and serve meals, cleaning out a warehouse and pavilion, and painting and fixing up different places around the building.
Aside from volunteering with CRM, more than 350 additional events are planned, and churches and individuals can pick and choose which ones they want to participate in on the LOVE Week website.
Events kick-off this Saturday in the Charlotte area with seven Elevation extension sites across the country participating in it as well.
On the web: http://loveweekcharlotte.com/