About 2,000 people volunteered to participate in a week of service in the greater Cincinnati area and Northern Kentucky in an event called "Heart the City."
The volunteers came from the 7 Hills Church in Cincinnati, Ohio and served from Sunday, June 20 to Saturday, June 26. Volunteers logged more than 1,800 hours as they completed landscaping, painting, organizing, cleaning and food distribution projects.
7 Hills Church pastor Marcus Mecum started "Heart the City" about 12 years ago. The church was founded more than 15 years ago.
"Our prayer hasn't been, 'God give the city to us,' but rather our prayer has been, 'God give us to the city.' And that's what we've been committed to do for over 12 years now through our 'Heart the City' initiative," Mecum, a Florence, Kentucky resident, told The Christian Post.
"What I love about our church is that we don't just say, 'I love people,' but we prove it through our actions. We roll up our sleeves and we serve our city all year-round. … We want to make a difference."
Mecum said the church is trying to follow the example of Jesus, who "didn't come to be served, but to serve."
"There were times where Jesus would look over a city and weep. ... Even on the most difficult day of His life on the cross, He was thinking about people when He said, 'Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing,' Luke 23:34," Mecum said. "Jesus constantly thought about people. Our church isn't perfect, but people are always on our mind."
The 2020 "Heart the City" event was postponed last year because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Still, 7 Hills Church invested about $200,000 in COVID-19 relief response, which included about 19,000 boxes of food and supplies for the community, 50,000 pounds of food packed and distributed, and 12,000 bottles of hand sanitizer for families in need and frontline workers.
Compared to 2019, the last year the event was held, there were 993 more volunteers this year.
Photo courtesy: Joel Muniz/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.