Carlinville’s Take It To Town gets national recognition
Their recognition of Take It To Town’s good works is part of the publication’s ongoing “Kindness Project.” The “Kindness Project” is based on a simple philosophy: “Our world needs more kindness in it. Twenty million readers all performing tiny acts of kindness can make the world the kind of place we all want to live in.”
Take It To Town is an all-volunteer project that sends teams of workers, led by a site coordinator, to non-profit and community-focused facilities in town the first Saturday each June to perform designated services.
Volunteers from ages eight to 88 (or beyond) take on labor projects that the receiving facility is not able to perform on its own, such as painting, cleaning, mulching, landscaping, typing, shredding papers, building or repairing small structures, packing food boxes and even babysitting young children of Take It To Town volunteers so the parents can do their assigned jobs. Take It To Town recipients do pay for the materials needed for their requested tasks.
“Take It To Town started out in 2004 as a community mission project sponsored by the Federated Church here in Carlinville,” said current program coordinator Diane Van Winkle. “Several of our members had attended a similar program in Indianapolis and thought it would work well here, too. So, in the spirit of the Good Samaritan and Jesus’ challenge to ‘Go and do likewise,’ members got together behind then chairman Harry.
“Pollitt and vice chairman Joe Reeves set up our own system, and we started to ‘do likewise.’ The Federated Church still sponsors the program, but we get volunteers from all over town and other churches. We’re definitely an equal-opportunity task force.
“Because it has worked so well for everyone involved, it is now a regular program that the volunteers and those receiving the help look forward to each year. It has become a Carlinville tradition.”
Organizers first approach the charitable organizations that received help the previous year. Sometimes they need further help; other times they say they are caught up and won’t need a Take It To Town team this year. Organizers also keep their eyes open all year long for projects and discuss them in the spring before the June effort begins. A general goal is to have at least 20 work sites on the designated day.
To read more of this story, see our e-edition.