For the volunteers of Compassion Katy, the past few months could be summed up with one phrase: Katy ServeFest 2009. Many hours of planning and prayer went into the preparation of this two weekend long work event and, according to Diane Walker, Executive Director of Compassion Katy, “It was all worth it.”
Katy ServeFest began with a dream: What would happen if churches in the Katy area came together once a year to impact our community? As a result, Compassion Katy came up with Katy ServeFest. Many churches have their own outreach events, but Compassion Katy sought to reach into the community as a united Body of Christ, rather than as separate churches or denominations.
The fourth annual Katy ServeFest took place on July 25th and August 1st, 2009. Partnering churches included The Crossings, Grace Fellowship UMC, Grand Lakes Presbyterian Church, The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch, and Vineyard Church The sites chosen for this year event were, the Krause Children’s Center and YMCA’s Camp Cinco. We were blessed with over 300 volunteers, representing more than 2,000 volunteer hours. A wide variety of projects were completed over the course of both weekends, including painting, power washing, landscaping, organization, and construction.
The staff members of both sites were extremely grateful for all of the work that the volunteers completed. “We are blessed to have received so much support the past two weekends,” said Brian Haines, Executive Director of the Katy Family YMCA, “I know the kids will love the changes…and we have surely started something that will impact kids for years to come.”
Volunteers also had the opportunity to take part in two “love-ins” during the week between the two ServeFest weekends, which gave them the chance to interact with the kids that will be most impacted by the work that was done. One group went to Williams Elementary and made cards for the troops with the Arc of Katy kids, who often use Camp Cinco as part of their weekly activities. Another group, consisting mainly of volunteers from Grand Lakes Presbyterian Church, put on an ice cream social for the kids at Krause Children’s Center. The staff members mentioned what a joy it was to see the kids so excited about a treat that average kids often take for granted.
For more information about volunteering with Compassion Katy or Katy ServeFest 2010, please visit www.compassionkaty.org or www.katyservefest.org. The next big event, a Fall Workday, will take place on October 17th, 2009, and youth groups in the area will serve together at a location in the Katy area. Other local events are continually being posted on the Compassion Katy website, so check back frequently if you would like to find ways to impact your community.