Volunteers woke up early last Saturday to help with a collaborative service project, the Love Greene Project. Juan Gallo, along with a group of youth ministers and other affiliates, created the project with the goal to “invest in the local youth and local community.”
“We had been working together for a while in various ways, and we wanted to see what we could do on a larger scale to try to have an impact on the community,” said Gallo. “We feel that that is one of the greatest ways to model our faith, to serve those around us.”
Gallo’s group met once a month for several months to brainstorm and implement the project that took place Saturday.
“People from all over the county are going to show up at the EQT REC center at 8 a.m. and there they will be checked in, they will have an opportunity to check out all the service opportunities that we have available,” said Gallo. “Then they will be able to sign up, get some instruction from that specific project. Then they will get a free T-shirt and then they will have the opportunity to have some breakfast and then we will go into orientation to go into some of the rules and what our vision is and have a prayer before everyone leaves.”
Gallo wanted everyone in the community involved.
“The call is for just anyone in the community that wants to come out and serve,” he said.
Gallo hopes those that attended the event received the same life lessons he has learned from service.
“I think the age-old thing, that it’s better to give than to receive,” said Gallo.“Just from going out and getting to work on a project and watching it get completed and seeing the gratitude with which people receive that and that sense of accomplishment.”
Gallo is passionate about faith by serving and hopes that the group that came out was inspired. “The reason why we are doing this is just to inspire people and let them realize they can do things to improve their community,” Gallo said. “They don’t have to wait for politicians and community leaders to start agendas. That any individual can decide and go out and make a difference on any given day and do their part to improve their community. We hope to inspire people in that way and also as people go out to different area of the community.”
Gallo and the Love Greene Project’s main goal is to start a relationship with the charities and nonprofit groups.
“A group of individuals get to go out and serve at the nursing home and maybe they will want to do it again next month and the month after that,” Gallo said.
There are so many areas of need in Greene County, Gallo said. Areas that need more attention even past the Love Greene Project.
“There’s addiction, neglect of children and crime, and a lot of things a lot of us turn our eye away from that and just expect law enforcement or judiciary system to do something about it,” he said. “But I think that there are a lot of positive things that individuals can do that can affect those things as well.”