See the Need, Feel the Need, Meet the Need
By Kiyalyn Reneé Bump, Halifax HOPE worldwide Canada volunteer.
December 6th, 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, the worst disaster ever to hit our communities. Two munitions ships collided in the harbour during the First World War, catching fire and the ensuing explosion killed at least 1,950 men, women, and children, with thousands injured as well.
Overwhelming response and aid to the plight of the citizens of Halifax, Dartmouth and Turtle Cove soon poured in from across the Maritimes, Canada and the US Northeast (specifically Boston) in our hour of need. The legacy of appreciation for those acts of kindness continues to this day with the province of Nova Scotia sending a giant Christmas Tree to the City of Boston each year.
One hundred years later, volunteers from the Halifax Chapter of HOPE worldwide Canada, partnering with the Halifax Dartmouth Church of Christ set out to give 1,950 hours of community service back to honour those who perished in the Halifax Explosion, and to look for ways for our volunteers to continue let our lights shine and to be known across our communities for our hearts to serve. Our hashtag for the year was #ServingToHonour6Dec1917.
From Amherst to Windsor to Cole Harbour to Halifax and Dartmouth and Upper/Middle/Lower Sackville, Bedford and Bridgewater and places in-between, we got out there to serve!
The ideas were numerous and the creativity was inspiring!
Volunteers served at a local Drop In Foot Clinic, shopped for and prepared meals for and served at a local ‘Sunday Supper’, started a Hearing Test Clinic, volunteered as a local University football team chaplain & coach, gathered used clothing, helped at various Food Banks, packed backpacks for schoolchildren in need, donated time and energy by serving overseas, utilized their skills helping local non-profits in Web Design, prepared and served food for hungry students, sang Christmas Carols at a Seniors Home, served in and around their neighbourhoods and in their local schools, fundraised to help those in need, the list goes on and on!
Marty Udall, Evangelist for the Halifax-Dartmouth Church of Christ shared these thoughts, "I believe that this is a great way to honour those lost in this tragic anniversary on it's 100th anniversary by all of us rolling up our sleeves, helping those around us in whatever way we can; volunteering, serving and meeting the needs in our communities."
One of our volunteers, Cameron Taylor explains that his favourite service time this past year was volunteering with the Mobile Outreach Street Health (MOSH). “Going out to meet people was a testament to the level of humility Jesus showed in Philippians 2 and Mark 1:41.” He goes on to recall that his favourite memory would be when “one of the nurses showed me that making some scrambled eggs for a gentleman who hadn’t eaten in a few days, and sharing a conversation, was just as much a part of medicine as medications and blood pressures are.”
A goal of 1,950 service hours is what we set out to do. We knew it was ambitious for a church of 60 members, but we also knew that if we all did a little bit, and prayed about our goal, God would help us accomplish anything! When all was said and done, we were able to account for over 2,700 hours of community service! Without the hearts and dedication of our volunteers, we would not have been able to have such an impact on our communities! We are so grateful for our many dedicated volunteers and supporters and want to use this opportunity to say, “THANK YOU”! All glory to God for this huge success, and we are eager to see what he does with us in 2019!