Putting love into action

Published 2:00 am Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bo and Sam Bell stand on the front porch of the first home repaired in the ministry's Adopt A Block program.

Bo and Sam Bell are leading a group of volunteers on a trip to put a message from God into action.
Operating under the “Compassion for Brewton” umbrella, the Bells and an army of volunteers are working on the newest project stemming from New Beginnings Ministries in the “Adopt A Block” program.
The Adopt A Block program has already tackled its first project for an East Brewton resident.
“A lady was in a position that she had to have somewhere to stay and we did what we could to get a little house in shape for her,” Bo said. “With workers from New Beginnings and a network of other volunteers, we were able to practically renovate the whole house from top to bottom to get it in shape to live in.”
Bo said the East Brewton project is the first of many that will be tackled in the Adopt A Block program.
“We already have other people that are finding out about the program that need some help,” Bo said. “We are doing some house painting for an elderly man and have other projects lined up. Our whole goal with this is to help the elderly or widowed residents in our community with minor house repairs, yard work, anything like that we can do.”
Bo said a team of volunteers is already networking with contributors who can help make the project a success.
“We will be teaming up with a network of people on the projects we do,” Bo said. “With our volunteers, we may have someone who can donate paint or do plumbing work or know someone who can. That’s where our network of volunteers will be beneficial for the project and the people we will be helping.”
Bo said the overall goal is to break down walls between citizens and religious denominations and put Christians in action for the community.
“Love is an action word,” Bo said. “That’s what we’re going to do is to love this community. Right now we are working to pull people from all denominations together to work for one purpose. We have people working with us already from five different churches I this community. It’s the vision of this program to pull the body of Christ — the churches — together to work for our city. As a church, we have got to get out of the four walls and love this community — love on people and get some of Brewton cleaned up.”
Sam said God’s touch on the project has been amazing already and He is leading them in their work.
“It’s just awesome to see God move,” Sam said. “He shocks us every day. To see people come together and volunteer to help others is amazing. There are so many people who were eager to help and they had no project. The work we did at the first home show us that.”
Bo said God’s hand is evident in so many of the steps they have taken to get this project off the ground.
“We had a couple come to us a couple of weeks ago and hand us the title to a vehicle,” Bo said. “They told us that God told them to make the donation of that vehicle for our new project. Not one person knew we had a new project planned. It just really blew me away that God had sent a message to that couple and they responded to a need we didn’t even know we had. We’ll be using that vehicle in our Adopt a Block program right away.”
The Bells are currently working on constructing a Website that will allow those in need to apply for assistance and for those who wish to volunteer to do so on-line.
“We will have many areas of work that will give everyone who wants to a chance to volunteer,” Bo said. “Everything from raking, shoveling, cleaning yards, painting, just about anything you can imagine. We’ll be taking donations for our projects but we’ll also be doing some fundraising as well. Those fundraisers will give people a chance to maybe wash some cars or other things to help us get the funds to take care of some of the needs in this community.”
Bo said the change will be gradual, but the ultimate goal is to see those who are in need have those needs met.
“There has to be a change in our mindset in order for true, meaningful change to take place in Brewton,” Bo said. “Our plan is to change the community one house and one block at a time. It’s time to lay our own agenda to the side and step out of the box. It’s our belief that through our community coming together for one purpose, we will be given the opportunity to strengthen our community and build ties and deepen relationships to restore hope by showing compassion for those in need.”
Donations are already being accepted, Bo said. Financial contributions are tax deductible. The Adopt A Block program has a wish list of items that would be helpful in the projects already being planned. Items such as brooms, shovels, gloves, buckets, hammers, paint, wood, bottled water, garbage bags, hedge trimmers and other tools and yard equipment will always be needed.
Anyone with information on someone needing assistance can contact the Bells by reaching them through their Website. Volunteers may also sign up for work at the site as well. Visit www.compassionforbrewton.org for information. Since the Website is under construction, access may be limited and a return visit to the site may be needed.