If you’re looking, you’ll find the need. And just as importantly, you’ll find the people to help.
For Pine Forest United Methodist Church assistant pastor Josh Echols, it was clear that there were people right in his own community of Dublin that needed ambitious help to care for their homes. His answer to the need? River of Life Dublin, a 5-day mission project in Laurens County where students and adults come together to renovate and improve homes in the area. The organization works on many exterior projects from handicap ramps to roofs and paint.
“People don’t realize that there is serious poverty right here in our own cities and towns. It’s not a third-world problem, it’s local.”
It all started when Josh was a teenager and participated in local River of Life in his local community. “I saw the need then, and I see the need now.” The organization has grown significantly in the past three years since it started. “Our first summer we had 3 churches participating, and only about 50 volunteers. This year we are expecting over 200 volunteers from over 10 local churches,” explained Josh.
Three local churches come together to host the summer event each year. The students spend the week together much like a summer camp. They work together to complete service projects, work with the homeowners and strengthen their faith.
Most recently, the organization worked with a local women’s shelter, WINGS, to renovate an apartment complex. Teens from around the county, and a local high school baseball team came together to paint and make minor repairs so the group will be able to offer housing assistance to women in need.
Josh’s goal for River of Life is to expand the service projects to cover interior problems, as well. “We would love to be able to make houses stable on the inside and out.” They are working with volunteers to have the abilities to fix and replace flooring, paint the interior walls or homes, and guarantee the homes are sturdy for years to come.
About Circle & Shield
Cingo means to surround and secure — to protect. That’s what we do. And we have a lot of respect for those who take it upon themselves to make protection a part of what they do, too. That’s why we’ve launched Circle & Shield, our award to a member of the community who helps make the world a better place, a safer place.