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Volunteer groups to help Lehigh residents in need

June 13, 2018
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Church of the Nazarene is reaching out to the community, seeking those who may need help putting up a fence, or painting a house.

Pastor Mike Shinn said they have some volunteers looking for community service opportunities later this month.

"They will be here the last two weeks of the month," he said. "We will have about 100 (volunteers) between the two weeks. If there is something we can help with, give us a call. We will try to get a volunteer group out to help."

Those in need of help are encouraged to call Shinn at (239) 369-4001.

Shinn said they are still seeing a lot of fences down, as well as such landscaping work as cutting trees down, that still needs to be done following Hurricane Irma.

"I don't know if people know who to reach out to," he said, adding that they have the manpower to help those who need their fence put up.

The volunteer groups are hailing from such places as Georgia, West Virginia and Ohio. He said the high school kids are under the direction of quite a few adults, skilled adults that lead them and help them with their community service.

"They want to get community service hours," Shinn said.

For the past three summers The Church of the Nazarene has hosted the volunteer groups. Shinn said he and his wife are the organization team behind the volunteer groups. He said they feed them and house them at the church.

"The community center is letting them shower there. It's a real community effort," Shinn said.

After Hurricane Irma, he said they were able to help hundreds of people with volunteer groups.

With many residential roofs in Lehigh Acres still having blue tarps, he said when the weather cools off in the fall and winter months, he is hoping to get roofing adult teams to help remove those tarps.

In addition to the volunteer groups, during Hurricane Irma, Shinn said they began offering a free meal from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Wednesday. The program has grown from feeding approximately 20-25 people to 150 people weekly.

"You can really tell that they have children and have a situation and they the need the help. That's what has been exciting about it, but sad that we have that many hungry people in Lehigh. Anyone who needs a meal, especially during the summer, is welcome to stop by for a hot meal," Shinn said.

With the need, Midwest Food Bank was added to the food program. He said the first Wednesday of the month from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. the food truck will be located in the church's parking lot distributing food.

"It's another hot meal the community can enjoy," Shinn said.



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