by Erin Odom
At a time when gas prices are skyrocketing, Huntersville’s Mosaic Church partnered with six other Charlotte organizations to give fuel away.
But they didn’t stop there.
In the fourth What If Everyone campaign, more than 200 volunteers completed more than a dozen outreach projects across the greater Charlotte area.
“We had families with children serving together to provide fresh groceries to low-income residents, ladies hosted a baby shower for young and single pregnant women and teens provided child care, so parents could volunteer, ” Ashley Fazal, Mosaic Church’s outreach director, said.
Other service projects included landscaping at Crisis Assistance Ministry, making sandwiches for Urban Ministries distribution, painting a mural at the Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen in Huntersville, coordinating an American Red Cross Blood Drive, delivering care baskets to local fire and police stations and providing a day of soccer, snacks and fellowship to one of Charlotte’s refugee communities.
One of the campaign’s goals, Fazal said, is to demonstrate the various ways people can serve in their own community.
“The opportunities are endless,” she said.
Fazal and her husband, Naeem, who pastors at Mosaic Church, came up with the idea for the campaign in 2009. The couple initially wanted to develop more volunteer opportunities for their congregation.
“Instead of starting from scratch ourselves, we decided to go and partner with people already doing it,” Ashley Fazal said. “We wanted to motivate them to go on and start serving (regularly) with the organizations.”
Silent Images, a local nonprofit that creates social justice awareness through photojournalism; PeacePassers, a charity that donates soccer materials to impoverished children; and the Urban Eagles, a ministry of the Charlotte Eagles Soccer Club, were key partners in Saturday’s event.
Three other churches, Relevant Church, which meets at Hopewell High School in Huntersville, as well as Charlotte congregations Renovatus and The Branch Family Church, participated in the serve day.
Mosaic church member Jennifer Dow led a team of creative volunteers in painting a mural at the Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen in Huntersville.
“Serving God does not stop at preaching or caring for the poor but extends to using any gift we may have,” she said.
Along with the mural, What if Everyone volunteers also helped construct a new storage area for the ministry.
“This new storage space is going to allow us to accept more donations and help us ensure that we are rotating our food well,” Angels and Sparrows founder and director, Sandy Tilley, said. “(These) projects are the most practical things done lately to help our ministry.”
Naeem Fazal came up with the name for “What if Everyone.”
“It’s the idea of what if everyone served the community. We would actually meet the needs of the community,” Ashley Fazal said.
The first What if Everyone day took place Sept. 12, 2009. Since then, the volunteers have served more than 3,400 hours, completing projects at more than 20 ministries or civic locations throughout Charlotte. Along with serving, the campaign has collected donations of new shoes, blankets, sleeping bags, socks and underwear for the homeless; toiletries and baby products, and car seats for single mothers; school supplies for teachers; books for Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore; and more than 70 pints of blood through American Red Cross blood drives.
Funding for the various volunteer projects comes in part from churches, individual donors and corporate sponsors.
Want to help?
Want to help? What If Everyone hopes to organize community-wide volunteer days twice a year. To join the effort, visit www.whatifeveryone.com.
Mosaic Church meets at North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville. For more information, visit http://www.mosaicchurch.tv/.