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Allegheny East Church Starts Service Day on a Playground

Story by Michelle Riley Jones
Published 8/7/13

Capitol Hill members were among the volunteers that helping to put together the playground set.

Several members of Allegheny East Conference’s Capitol Hill church in Washington, D.C., recently met early one morning on an empty field to create something that will last for years. And it only took four hours! Starting at 8 a.m., Wednesday, July 24, the church’s embers joined with the national non-profit organization KaBOOM!, which is dedicated to saving play for Americas children, to build a playground at the KIPP Baltimore Harmony Academy, a public charter elementary school in Baltimore.
The project including building the play set with swings, climbing ropes and slides, along with a sandbox, four benches and picnic tables, three flower boxes and a shade structure.
“We are honored to join this great effort to support over 650 children and their families in one of Baltimore's poorest neighborhoods,” said Jen Mason, Capitol Hill’s Community Service ministry leader.  “Through our community effort today, children will be inspired on the path from kindergarten to college, just because someone cared enough about them.”  
Betty Frank, a grandmother with two grandchildren attending KIPP, could not contain her joy.  “I was so excited to hear that you came all the way from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, that I had to come help out myself.  My grand babies are going to be so happy!  Thank you!”  
Building the playground marked the kick off for the church’s second annual Acts of Kindness Community Service Day. The community service day took place on Sabbath, July 27 and involved church members forgoing worship services to minister to the needs of hundreds in the community. Some of the church’s 13 projects also included: cultivating and harvesting organic foods for underserved neighborhoods, delivering flowers and groceries to seniors, cleaning an area watershed, visiting and caring for hospice patients, delivering meals to persons living with AIDS, sorting and organizing clothing for the homeless, supporting teen mothers in college and leading a prayer walk through the neighborhood.  
Capitol Hill is a congregation “where kindness is intentional,” said Gene M. Donaldson, DMin, the church’s senior pastor.  “No one is too young or too old to care for others.  Our Acts of Kindness Day is but one way we serve our community throughout the year—with intentionality—making God big in the hearts and minds of others by being kind to them.”


The playground was completed in four hours.


When Betty Frank saw the work that was taking place, she joined the group.


Capitol Hill members met at the church then carpooled to Baltimore.

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