Redeemer students have long volunteered in Hamilton, serving communities in all sorts of ways and places. This past weekend was no different.
Over 60 students crammed onto a city bus on the evening of Friday, September 17, and headed straight for the heart of the city. Dividing themselves into three groups, a student-run Deedz evening took place. Started by Redeemer students years ago, Deedz is a regular Friday night activity and has become a staple for LAUNCH orientation—consisting of handing out hot chocolate and engaging in conversations, often about faith, with Hamiltonians in the downtown core.
Following Deedz, students headed to Wentworth Baptist Church for Student Senate’s Fall Retreat. Dwayne Cline from Hughson Street Baptist Church spoke and students enjoyed a time of refreshment and fellowship (including a 1:00 a.m. pizza run).
Saturday morning, after a delicious breakfast of eggs, oatmeal, fruit and bagels, students gathered again for another inspiring talk from Dwayne. At the crux of the Dwayne’s message was an emphasis on the importance of serving, using several personal examples of challenging experiences as a pastor in the core of Hamilton.
Redeemer students have long volunteered in Hamilton, serving communities in all sorts of ways and places.
At 10:00 a.m., students travelled to seven different service locations, again via city bus, to complete specific projects. The organizations that partnered with Serve Hamilton this year were:
City Housing Hamilton, a non-profit housing agency consisting of almost 7,000 units, spread over 1,265 properties, with over 13,000 residents. 45% of residents are children, and residents collectively speak more than 30 first languages. Students helped out in the McQuesten Community Garden with weeding, planting, clean up and beautification. Despite the rain, they also helped set up the annual Isabella Newstead Block Party.
New Hope Community Bikes, a non-profit registered charity seeking to get more people on affordable, reliable bicycles and providing employment and job training opportunities for youth. Students helped set up their new location on Hunter St. E.
Indwell, a Christian charity creating affordable housing communities that support people seeking health, wellness and belonging. Students helped paint a house that Indwell owns and uses for affordable housing.
Greater-Ontario-House-of-Prayer, an organization that helps people and churches pray, and helps churches pray together. Students assisted in painting their offices.
Helping Hands Street Mission, an organization that, through partnership with the community, addresses the needs of the homeless, working poor and spiritually poor. Students helped sort clothing at their street-front location on Barton St.
L’arche Hamilton, an organization that transforms lives through a community-based approach in providing supports and services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Students helped clean up the exteriors of five of L’arche homes.
YWCA Hamilton, an organization that helps women and girls strengthen their voices, shape their own lives and define their communities. Students helped clean a playground and storage area as well as lead a game of bingo for residents of their transitional living program.
Crown Point Community Church, a church of the Nazarene with a goal to care for each other and impact our neighbourhood. Students assisted by sorting clothes for the Giving Closet, a free clothing store for the community. Last year, over 5000 items of clothing were given away to those in the community.
At noon, students were able to take a lunch break and choose a local restaurant to eat at, giving them another way to experience the community in which they were serving. After completing the projects, students gathered back at Wentworth Baptist for a quick debrief and then headed home to campus to catch up on some much needed sleep.