United Methodist District Supervisor Rev. Melanie Carey had a vision of metro Detroit being less divided by imaginary lines. So, she began planning a service event she hoped would spill over into the everyday lives of both the volunteers and those they served.

What began as a simple food drive grew into much more when approximately 1,200 volunteers spent time at 20 different sites across the city distributing food donations and cleaning up local parks during 2012’s first annual Hands4Detroit day of service. Volunteers collected 26,000 pounds of food for Gleaners Food Bank, organizers said.

“We are striving to create an experience that is not about ‘haves’ coming and serving the ‘have nots,’” says Hands4Detroit’s Planning Committee Administrator Ang Hart. “We try to focus on relationship building. We want … communities to become a place where people are coming together for the greater good.”

Seventy-seven area United Methodist churches have come together to organize the second annual event, which will took place Oct. 5, 2013. That year’s day of service featured many different kinds of projects in Detroit and Pontiac, including: boarding up abandoned structures; preparing community gardens for winter; transforming a vacant lot into a football field on east Seven Mile Road; cleaning up city parks; sorting food and clothing donations; and improving the Clinton River bike/pedestrian trail in Pontiac. In addition to the day’s tangible accomplishments, Hart also hopes, “everyone will get a glimpse of what God can do in our hearts when we put ourselves out there for others.”

The 2016 event date is October 1, 2016. To learn more about this event please check the website listed below.