Local church's youth project to serve others begins Saturday

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

SIKESTON -- A local church aims to teach its youth about about community service next month when the teens will help customers at Sikeston grocery store.

Beginning this Saturday, about 12 youth from Heartland Harvest Church of rural Sikeston will bag and carry groceries for customers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Food Giant's 700 N. Main St. location in Sikeston. The service will repeat Nov. 9, 16 and 23.

"Heartland Harvest Church is in the community to serve and offer a helping hand to others," said Todd Crumley, pastor of Heartland Harvest Church.

That's why any donations the youth receive during their service at Food Giant will be used to purchase food baskets for local families in need, Crumley said.

"Young people will carry sacks of groceries out to customers' cars and accept any donations. We are going to turn around and buy whatever we can -- canned goods and turkey or ham -- and make food baskets for those in need," he said.

Church members recently came up with the idea for the youth project with the goal in mind of helping the community with service, the church pastor explained.

"We're not doing anything for us but to serve the community," Crumley said.

Another goal of the project is for the youth to learn responsibility. "Some of them are excited and some are nervous. They're 12 or 13 years old and most of them have never had a part-time job," Crumley said.

However, he said, he has faith in the teens.

"We want them to learn what it means to serve somebody and help somebody out," Crumley said. "Everybody isn't as fortunate as we are, and this gives them a sense of character and helps them build an understanding that people out there are worse than they are."

As a result, the youth can carry a sack of groceries out for others and give back to the community, he said.

"We're excited about getting this opportunity to do this program," Crumley said. "We appreciate Food Giant working with us. It's good outreach for us and the store."

Harlan Elfrink of Food Giant said he thinks the project is great one.

"We're glad to help out the community in any possible way we can," Elfrink said. "I think this (project) is a great opportunity for us to do that."

Crumley agreed.

"We hope the city will respond and let us know their thoughts," Crumley said. "We hope it's a project that rolls over, and we start doing it every year."

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