Hands on Kirkwood is a one-day mission blitz of our local community. A day when every member of the community is encouraged and empowered to go and to serve. All of us have heard the statement, “It is better to give than to receive.” Most of us believe this statement, but few of us find an intentional way to live it out on a daily basis. Hands on Kirkwood is that intentional way. It is a simple way – just sign-up – to serve neighbors in need. Neighbors in need of a friend, neighbors in need of yard work, neighbors in need of home repairs, neighbors in need of a smile, neighbors in need of a clothes or a blanket.
How it works?
Churches, local organizations, and individuals work together to connect volunteers to various projects and community needs. The HOK leadership team secures projects, enlists project leaders, promotes the event, and registers volunteers. Volunteers are recruited through partner churches and organizations but any individual can sign-up to serve.
Hands on Kirkwood brings together people of various races, beliefs, cultures, and perspectives in order to serve our community together. Many are driven by their faith, giving selflessly as a reflection their devotion. Others serve because of moral tenants or simply because they believe it is the right thing to do. No matter the reason, as we serve together HOK hopes to cultivate a spirit of community cooperation and unity.
As a way to honor our differences and respect one another, Hands on Kirkwood asks all churches, organizations, and individuals to
- Practice a spirit of unity and cooperation characterized by mutual trust and respect
- Refrain from promoting their own beliefs to or proselytizing among volunteers or those being served
Hands on Kirkwood (HOK) began as a local mission initiative of Kirkwood Baptist Church (KBC) in 2007. KBC modeled this ministry after the successful Operation Inasmuch program which equips churches and their members to move outside the safe walls of their sanctuaries and into the community to serve their neighbors, much as Jesus did. KBC began with the question, “In our community, when people say Kirkwood Baptist Church, what comes to mind.” Whatever the answers, we knew there was more we could do and more we were called to do in order for us to truly be the presence of Christ in Kirkwood; more we were called to do in order to be an active, integral, and sincere force our community for love, grace, and justice.
KBC began with a goal of 150 volunteers in 2007 and were amazed when 250 KBCers gathered in the sanctuary in October 2007 for our HOK opening rally. Since that time, other churches, the City of Kirkwood, St Louis Community College at Meramec, service organizations, businesses and individuals have joined this effort. Although projects have changed, adapted, been added and dropped, the heart of the mission has always remained the same: to engage ALL in a one-day mission blitz of our community, to equip ALL to follow the command to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to inspire ALL to make serving others more than a one-day event but instead a daily occurrence.
In 2011 we celebrated the fact that HOK was changing. No longer would HOK simply be a missionALL project of Kirkwood Baptist Church but HOK will be a missionALL community project where all members of the Kirkwood family (and even those outside Kirkwood) are invited to move outside the safe confines of their homes and places of worship to make a difference for their neighbors.