Pickerington Times-Sun

Members of area churches volunteer community service

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MICHAEL HAYES/THISWEEKNEWS
Greg Schmalfeldt and his daughter, Grace, lay the footpath for ACTS in Sycamore Park, which was one of many service projects ACTs volunteers accomplished.
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A steady rain Saturday morning failed to deter a hearty and spirited crew of dedicated souls who showed up at work sites throughout Pickerington armed with tools and a "can-do" attitude.

The workers, all members of Pickerington-based ACTS, which stands for Active Christians Transforming Society, braved the downpour May 10 to make a tangible impact on the city.

In all seven area churches participated in the event doing various projects for the city of Pickerington and acts of kindness for fire, police, medical personnel and residents.

ACTS started in Pickerington in 2011 as a way for area churches to join together to bestow good works upon the community.

Participating area churches this year were C3 Church, Epiphany Lutheran, Grace Lutheran, Harvest Christian Community, Peace United Methodist, Trinity Life Center and Violet Baptist Church.

Pickerington City Services Director Ed Drobina said the group's efforts are appreciated.

"They send in a whole lot of people and get a lot done in a little bit of time," Drobina said.

"They only work about three hours," he said.

"It really helps the city out immensely in getting some of the things done we don't have the time to do," he said.

Plans to paint the newly completed shelter at the city's disc golf course were scuttled because of the rain, but that didn't stop other projects planned for the day.

Dozens of ACTS members convened in Sycamore Park to rake leaves, cut brush and lay down several footpaths, including one leading from a small bridge to the Sycamore Pond gazebo.

Team Sycamore leader Tom Schleppi gently "barked" orders to his crew to grab shovels and rakes and get started.

As the rain turned into a steady downpour, Schleppi jokingly advised several workers "we have water in the cooler if you get dehydrated."

This was the second year Schleppi brought his crew to the park to help beautify the grounds.

"Last year we generated 20 dump truck loads of brush. Today we're also clearing the walking paths so as you're walking you don't have to duck the branches," Schleppi said.

ACTS organizer Kelly Zimmerman said the organization continues to transcend denominational boundaries through its actions.

"We desire to shine a light reflecting the love of God by loving others through random acts of service and kindness, with no strings attached," Zimmerman.

"We want to be the church and come together, regardless of church affiliation and we want to love on our community."

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