By all accounts, the fifth annual Great Days of Service was another success! Thanks to many individuals, churches, schools, businesses and youth organizations a lot was accomplished to clean up our town, help neighbors in need, feed the hungry, visit the sick and lonely and more! At least 350 people participated this year!
Here is some of what was accomplished this year:
- Food Drive – An estimated 7,300 canned goods were collected in all! Most of the food came from all of the Bonham schools – from preschool to high school – who collected food in the first two weeks of October. Brookshire’s store and
customers gave some food too, as well as Boy Scout Troop. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints contributed a whole pallet of food too! On Saturday morning, volunteers sorted the food and divided it equally for the five organizations who feed hungry people in our community. These organizations are Fannin County Community Ministries, Fannin County Family Crisis Center, Basic Food Pantry, Manna House and Boyd Baptist Church. The Community Ministries weighed their food and reported that their donation was 1,059 pounds of food! Because each group was given about the same amount of food, we can probably safely estimate that the total amount of food collected was more than 5,000 pounds! Many thanks to Brandi Holcomb with Bonham High School and Megan Massey with LDS Church for their faithful leadership with this project.
- Community Clean-up – volunteers picked up trash, raked leaves, cleared branches and brush and more at sites all over town. There were 3 trucks and trailers driving all over town, picking up the trash bags and brush. They counted 16 loads in all! Work sites included:
- Simpson Park – Boy Scouts and BHS athletes helped city workers spread mulch around the playground equipment while VPG employees cleaned up trash.
- Catron Park – After members of Bethlehem Baptist Church were done picking up trash at this park, they decided to go buy some paint and brushes and give the gazebo a fresh coat of paint to cover up the graffiti.
- Stephenson Park – Jovita’s Cleaning Service employees spent the morning at this park in south Bonham. They filled 25 bags with leaves and some trash and created a big pile of fallen branches to be hauled off.
- Powder Creek Playground – students from Bonham High School – both athletes and National Honor Society members, as well as Chi Lambda members and other community volunteers teamed up to spread mulch around the playground and put a fresh coat of stain on the playground. A new Warrior Head sign was also installed. Many thanks to Kassi Bowen with Chi Lambda and the Fannin County Children’s Center for her leadership with this project.
- Bailey Inglish Cemetery and Willow Wild Cemetery – volunteers raked and bagged leaves, picked up branches, trimmed trees, used weedeaters and more at these two cemeteries. Many thanks to Ben Lancaster with Willow Wild for his leadership and planning.
Volunteers also walked down several major streets in town, picking up trash. Many thanks to Kelly Royse with Rotary and Renlita Doors for her leadership with this project. We also appreciate Bonham city Parks and Rec Director Ronnie Hill and his staff for all of their help in getting the mulch ready and having wheelbarrows available too.
- Nursing Home Visits –
Volunteers from LDS church, Bradford Chapel AME and First Assembly of God and others visited the sick, elderly and disabled at several nursing homes, assisted living and group homes in Bonham. Volunteers sang, visited and played bingo with residents. Many thanks to Dana Abbott with the LDS church for faithfully leading and organizing this service project every year.
- Home Improvement – Volunteers with First Baptist, First Presbyterian and other community groups built a ramp for three elderly sisters. Another crew of volunteers replaced a front porch. Many thanks to Randy Bowen with First Baptist and Kiwanis Club and Kassi Bowen
with Chi Lambda and the Fannin County Children’s Center for their leadership, organization and planning with this service project every year.
- Joy Jamboree – this event was a Friday night dance for adults with special needs. More than 20 volunteers helped set-up, clean-up and run the dance. Not only was it a fun night for the adults with special needs, it was also a fundraiser to raise money for future recreational activities for this special group of people. Many thanks to Liz Divig with First Assembly of God for organizing and leading this new service project.
- Recycling Project – for the second year in a row, volunteers helped unload cars, trucks and trailers with items that can be recycled, including computer parts, electronics, household items, movies, books and more. This event helped Fannin County citizens clean out the clutter in their homes and raised money for the Fannin County Literacy Council, which is a local nonprofit that provides free GED classes and helps adults learn to read. Many thanks to the board of the Literacy Council for planning this project and partnering with us!
- Opening and closing ceremonies – and we cannot forget to thank the churches who provided meals for all of the hungry volunteers! Members of First United
Methodist Church got up way before the crack of dawn to have pancakes, sausage, juice and hot coffee ready for volunteers as they checked in to the Family Life Center on Saturday morning. Members of Northside Church of Christ prepared lunch of hot dogs, cool drinks and a wonderful selection of side dishes and sweet treats. Many thanks to Karola Brookshire, Kassi Bowen, Nate Lighfoot, Kelly Royse and Cassidy Barber for their help checking volunteers in.