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Serving your community

By Randy Garrison

Many times I am asked what makes Hartselle special. Last Saturday was a great example of what makes Hartselle so special and why I truly feel blessed to be a part of our great city. 

An estimated 400 folks came together to serve our local community on Serve Day.

When you Google Serve Day, this definition comes up:

“Serve Day provides churches across the world with opportunities to serve their local communities and share the love of God through practical acts of kindness. The hope is that serving others becomes our focus throughout the year. Simple acts of selfless love can open hearts to Jesus, and together we can make a difference.”

This is what took place Saturday here in Hartselle. Several of our local churches came together to serve our community. Redstone Federal Credit Union and Sonoco also had groups participating. Members of the Hartselle High School football team and Living Free Recovery members also volunteered and worked hard as well. 

The Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce organized and led the effort through a committee of nonprofits. This committee was formed to help groups come together to meet needs in the community and help to keep each other informed about areas where they can work together to accomplish great changes in our community. 

Churches participating included Life Church, Hartselle First Baptist, Daystar, First Assembly, Fairview–The Grace Place and West Hartselle Baptist Church. The churches all were represented by many folks and volunteers. 

As the groups gathered Saturday morning, it was a sea of red on Railroad Street at The Depot. Red T-shirts were worn by those volunteering. Breakfast was served and directions shared, and new Hartselle High football coach Bo Culver gave a short inspirational talk, thanking all for turning out. He said that by doing so, they were sharing the love of Christ.

The groups and tasks had been pre-planned and assigned to enable a smooth workday and to accomplish all of the projects. Projects included painting the gazebo at The Depot, trimming trees and mulching at the Depot, painting at several of the schools, landscaping and mulching at the schools, sod at the fire stations, landscape work at the police department, cleanup and mulching at the welcome signs throughout the city, work at The Burleson Center and other projects as well. 

I had the pleasure of working with a group of folks from First Baptist Hartselle who came to help clean the basement at The Burleson Center. This hard-working group of men and women – well, honestly, more women – along with their pastor Clayton Speed and another gentleman filled a 30-cubic-yard roll-off dumpster in an hour and a half. 

Several members of the HHS football team also volunteered and worked hard helping to empty the basement. 

This group accomplished in a short period of time what would have taken days to accomplish by one or two folks. 

I also had the pleasure of working with other members of FBC as they worked at the Depot. Shrubs were trimmed, 40-50 bags of mulch were spread and many trailers were loaded with brush and overgrown plants and shrubs that had been removed. 

It was a very hot and humid day with lots of sweat, but it was a great day and a pleasure and blessing to work with all of these great folks who gave up their Saturdays to give back and serve their community.

Thanks to all who volunteered; thanks to those who organized this group; thanks to those who prepared food or donated items and mulch; and thanks to those who prayed for this type of community effort. 

We are truly blessed to call Hartselle home, and much praise goes to God for the churches and people who live in the city we call home.

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