(Photo: The Rock Church)
A San Diego megachurch seen as a leader in community service is now empowering county school students to bring smiles to the faces of the homeless, the elderly, and their peers in need of help.
A ripple effect of the Do Something World movement founded by Miles McPherson, senior pastor of the Rock Church and author of Do Something! Make Your Life Count, students from over 45 school campuses in San Diego participated in the PROJECT25 $100 Challenge.
Students from junior high and high schools contributed over 12,000 hours of volunteer service as part of the project, which had provided faith-based clubs on school campuses with $100 asking them to creatively multiply it to help individuals or organizations in their community, said a statement by the Rock Church, San Diego’s largest church with more than 12,500 people attending its five Sunday services and founded by former NFL player-turned-pastor McPherson.
While some clubs sold snacks and candy, others raffled off tickets to win a surfboard, all to raise money for the hurting. “The proceeds benefited such causes as distributing backpacks to homeless teenagers, creating baskets for an elderly assisted living facility for their BINGO night, sponsoring a child through World Vision and donating funds to Trinity House and the Salvation Army,” the statement said last week.
La Costa Canyon High School hosted a benefit concert for a senior at the high school who was the victim of a car accident that left her with a debilitating spinal cord injury. Now able to pay for her physical therapy, the senior hopes to walk at her college graduation.
Similarly, junior high students from Earl Warren Middle School partnered with Surf Ride Board Shop and celebrity pro-surfer Matt Beacham to raise $1,000 to provide scholarships for the Walking on Water/Fellowship of Christian Athletes Dream Surf Camp. And Kearny High School raised money to pay for four years worth of secondary school education for a Malawian high school student.
The county administration recognized their contributions. The City of San Diego’s Small Business ambassador, Lisa Gordon, thanked the students for their service on behalf of the mayor and the city.
Addressing the students at a function on June 1, Pastor McPherson said, “There is infinite need all around you. Keep doing it. Keep serving others sacrificially, and you’ll see that the ripple effect of what you do is impossible to measure.”
“Our goal is to mobilize thousands of students around the county to do something to affect change, and not just through this challenge once a year, but throughout their lives,” said Mark Bell, Youth Ministries pastor at the Rock Church, and co-founder of PROJECT25 along with Nate Landis, president and founder of Urban Youth Collaborative.
Based on the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30, PROJECT25 is a collaboration between the Rock Church, FCA San Diego, Horizon North County and UYC.
The Rock Church has consistently served the community, setting an example for other churches. On June 18, church volunteers will paint, landscape and beautify several local fire stations and the Point Loma community from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., the church website says.
At an early Christmas event last December, the Rock Church gave out 10,000 toys and 60,000 pounds of food to underprivileged families as part of an initiative it started over a decade earlier in partnership with Victory Outreach Church in San Diego.
In 2009, the Rock Church donated 615,956 hours of community service to the City of San Diego, which was valued at $9.6 million.
The Do Something World movement comprises of individuals, churches, and other organizations dedicated to serving and impacting their communities in positive ways.