The Rock Church “army” arrived in Point Loma and Ocean Beach early Saturday morning armed with shovels, rakes, paint brushes and brooms to take on some much needed service projects for the local community. Wearing big smiles and lime green “Rock Your City” t-shirts, 245 Rock Church volunteers tackled projects near Robb Field in Ocean Beach and at the Pt Loma Peninsula Family YMCA.
Rock Your City volunteers at Ocean Beach trimmed, weeded and laid 382 yards of mulch along Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. “That’s the equivalent of over three football fields one inch thick,” said Project Director Michael Hawley.
Like a line of soldier ants, the volunteers moved up and down along the busy street lugging plastic tarps of mulch weighing up to 100 pounds. Scott Lord, traffic control, kept a close eye on the safety of the volunteers.
Lord, a Rock member since 2007, volunteers at all the events. “It’s all about outreach,” said Lord. “We want to be a service to the community. This is the way to be representatives of Christ in the community.”
Helping to make the job easier was Ocean Beach resident Dan “Bobcat” Hungate, owner of Ace Bobcat, along with his excavator and handy bulldozer Bobcat. Hungate often volunteers his time and resources at Rock events.
Working alongside Hungate was Rock Your City volunteer Dale Sommerfeld. “It would take the city weeks, even months to complete this project,” said Sommerfeld. A Rock member since 2009, he serves in many different ministries, including the Men of the Rock, Rock Roadsters and as a project manager at many Rock Your City events.
Not far from the Robb Field site, another group of Rock volunteers equipped with paint brushes and garden tools worked on several different projects at the Point Loma Peninsula Family YMCA.
The Rock volunteers spread over 100 gallons of paint at the facility, painting the walls along the entry way, the pool fence, even some of the curbs for the reserved parking spots. One particular project was the creation of a community garden to be used by the preschool and seniors as part of a “cross generational” program, according to Vince Glorioso, the Executive Director of the Peninsula Family YMCA.
Parker Piner, a Rock Church member since 2009, built 10 redwood planter boxes for the garden in two hours. Volunteers planted over 100 plants including corn, squash, tomatoes and watermelon.
Glorioso praised the volunteers for their work. “On our own, even if we did have the finances, it would take us three years to complete all the work the Rock Church volunteers did in one day,” he said. “This is an awesome service project. I have had these projects on my mind as priority items for the last two years since I started here.
“I especially wanted to focus on improving the environment here,” said Glorioso. “How do our patrons feel when they come here? Is it warm, inviting? Does it look nice? The work done today on the entry way was particularly important to making this happen.”
Visiting the YMCA site was District 2 City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer. “It’s great to see so many smiles,” said Faulconer. “This YMCA means so much to the families who use it.” It is estimated that 14,000 people use the facility each year.
Some 300 kids attend summer camp, 500 youth participate in YMCA sports programs and 600 children utilize the childcare facility, according to Glorioso.
“There is only so much the city can do,” said Faulconer. “I give the Rock volunteers much credit for the work they do, not only here in Point Loma, but for all of San Diego. You make a huge difference.”
As Miles McPherson, senior pastor of the Rock Church always says, it’s one thing to say God loves you, but it’s another to show it by reaching out in practical ways to the community around the church through the concerted volunteer efforts of church members.
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