loren Eric Swanson: Orange County Serve Day

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Orange County Serve Day

Just finished up a great day of service in Southern California. Serve day involved 5,000 people from 27 churches serving in 275 different projects around Orange County. Serve Day was started a few years ago at Rock Harbor Church. This year under the leadership of Heather Motichco and Mike Kenyon 1,800 folks from Rock Harbor showed up to serve. Although preparations have been going on for months, the kickoff for most folks was last night at two separate rallies--at Grace Brethren, Long Beach and Mariner's Church in Irvine.

This morning I drove up to Long Beach to meet with Eric Marsh and some leaders he pulled toghether, including Casey Yorman from Northcoast. Casey is one of those young innovative leaders who is mobilizing the 250 small groups at Northcoast into the community. One place we visited that was quite impressive was Food Finders (foodfinders@aol.com) on Atlantic Avenue in Long Beach. Each day they provide (this is not a typo) 50,000 meals a day to children, sick, elderly and homeless of Orange County and LA. An amazing storefront operational model that houses no food but sends it out before it ever enters the door. I've always felt a missionary is only as good as his / her biographer and founder and director, Arelene Mercer, is one of those people few outside of this community have heard of but she is cutting a huge swath for the kingdom.

Another innovative contribution was a creative "extreme logo makover" led by Alexa McNabb of Grace Brethren Long Beach. Alexa assembled professional designers, marketers and personnel from Meals on Wheels. Using an innovative one day process designed by Alexa and John Handy of Mattel, the team was able to come up with 8 viable logo redesigns for Meals on Wheels. Amazing.

Not to be out done, volunteers led a project called "Pimp their Garage" in Fullerton--a remodling project for an innovative youth center. Ladies that are friends of the center fixed a great lunch for all the volunteers. There is no Mexican food better than home made Mexican food.


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