On August 25, the 14th annual Jubilee Service Day was held with a partnership of 50 churches and various organizations & companies. Collectively, 3200 volunteers served the Bellevue community, including at 22 public schools assisting more than 450 teachers to prepare the buildings & classrooms for the new year. Additionally, talented sewing volunteers created 800 chair pockets for elementary classroom chairs.
A quieter and sometimes hidden portion of the service day involves helping homeowners clean their yards, paint their houses or building fences. This partnership with the city of Bellevue reaches into the community to bring help to those in need, right where they live and has grown to now begin in March and end in September. This year, 36 homes were served prior to Jubilee Service Day, 8 homes were served on the Jubilee Service Day and 1 very large project will be done in early September. BelPres volunteers and took this opportunity shared God’s love righter where they live, work and play. Here are some of our neighbors who were supported and encouraged by the volunteers at Jubilee Service Day!
Cynthia is a 40 year old widow with a 2 year old son. Her husband, John, was tragically killed last fall in a bus accident in downtown Seattle. They had been married 12 years and moved into this home soon after their wedding. Cynthia is still heavily grieving and trying to make sense of her new normal. She has returned to work but cannot care for the outside of her house and yard. She has no family in the area but desperately wants to remain in her home for the stability of her son, as well as to remain close to his grave at Sunset Hills Memorial Park. John applied for the Jubilee Service Day last year, but we were not able to get to them then. this summer, we had teams begin to clean the yard and tear down an old fence. On Jubilee Service day a team of 25 completed cleaning the yard, rebuilt the fence and painted the house.
Shapoor and his family escaped from Iran 35 years ago by fleeing across the border on foot with their young son. They made their way to the US and eventually landed in Bellevue. They bought their house 25 years ago and live there now with their youngest son. Shapoor is in his 60’s and was laid off a few years ago. He returned to school for new training but has been unable to find meaningful employment. They are low income, trying to make ends meet. A team of 20 cleaned their yard, split a large pile of wood rounds with a rented splitter and painted the garage.
Louis and Katharine are both in their upper 70’s and have lived in this house 35 years. Lou has dementia, so Katharine is his caregiver. They have two grown children who are struggling through life, with Lou and Katharine supporting them as they can, although they are low-income. Katharine is sort of caught in the middle. Their yard has gotten away from them and needed to be trimmed back to a place where they can care for it again, and they can have pride in their yard. There were many wood-rounds in the backyard which we split with a rented wood-splitter. We had already hauled away three trailers-full of junk & garbage from the carport and yard to the landfill with another group in June. A group of 30 worked here on Jubilee Service Day.
Behind every front door is a story. Through relationships, we meet people right where they are and pour love into their lives, all in the name of Christ.
Jubilee Services Coordinator