Love Ceres began out of the success of Love Modesto. Love Modesto started back in 2007 with two questions: Why is our city on lists of the “worst cities in America”? If our churches were to suddenly disappear from the Modesto area, would anyone even care or notice?
With a lot of dreaming and planning came our first Love Modesto on March 7, 2009. More than 1,200 people showed up to love our city in practical ways. We’ve done this 12 more times since then and have added more than 50 cities. Over 70,500 people have been involved … young, old, abled, disabled; people from a church or no church at all. Around 250,000 volunteer hours have been donated – this is over $6.5 million dollars in service (independentsector.org) that we’ve given to our communities! At these community-wide volunteer days, people engage in a variety of projects, including offering food to the hungry, visiting convalescent homes, donating blood, building a house with Habitat for Humanity, and working in city parks and schools, among other opportunities.
Here are some of the stories:
“What a day! I think yesterday was probably the biggest special event day Modesto has ever had (I’ve lived here since 1971).”
“Congratulations to a successful day! It is the efforts of the community that can change a community. Job well done Love Escalon!”
“Love Riverbank was awesome today! We are truly a great community!”
“I got to be part of the parks & offer Danish & lemonade to people out there suffering as I was once 3 years ago. I got to share a bit of my experience, strength & hope and let them know that there’s help out there and that people do care.”
“If Love Modesto never happened again, we are making this part of who we are!”
“We had a great day! Out of 30 people who volunteered, we now have about 20 new mentors who’ll work with students every week! Awesome!!!”
“Had an amazing time spreading encouragement to some of the Public Servants who sacrifice so much to serve and protect our city. Thank you to Firestation #7!”
So many amazing stories have emerged from Love Our Cities, but perhaps the greatest stories are of the thousands who continue to volunteer regularly with organizations and areas they served. This is our hope and prayer…renewed pride in our cities, ongoing volunteerism and communities transformed.
“This is love, living in the way God commanded us to live. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is this: live a life of love.” 2 John 6