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Community invited to Allison Park Church’s Day of Hope

Natalie Wall and Peter Bess, of Allison Park Church at Clearview Mall, are co-leaders of the upcoming Day of Hope, which will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 13 at American Legion Post 778 in Butler Township. Justin Guido/Special to the Eagle

Allison Park Church’s Butler Campus will spread love, acceptance and especially hope at a community event planned for next month.

Day of Hope will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 13 at American Legion Post 778, 150 Legion Memorial Lane, Butler Township.

Peter Bess, a co-leader of the event, said the church has organized a Serve Day each summer for the past few years to carry out a variety of community service projects.

“Our church has a food bank that we’ve had the last two or three years, and we’ve been seeing a growing need in our community,” Bess said.

So church officials decided an annual summer Serve Day that provides food or some community service would be a good way to help people in need in the Butler community.

Allison Park Church, which has a location at Clearview Mall, held a carnival at Rotary Park in Butler last summer. This year, church volunteers have organized Day of Hope, which will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 13 at American Legion Post 778 in Butler Township. The church holds one large community event each year that serves people in need. Submitted Photo

Last year, the church’s Butler branch held a carnival at Rotary Park in Butler’s Island neighborhood with free food and games, and volunteers replaced a shed roof and performed other small projects for nearby Fishbone Ministries.

While Serve Day events have drawn a few hundred each year, Bess is hoping to attract at least 1,000 people at Day of Hope.

He said the church has partnered with Convoy of Hope, an organization out of Springfield, Mo., that travels around the U.S. to areas that have experienced disasters to hand out shoes, shelf-stable food and other items.

“They arrive with semis full of food, water and the things the people in the area hit by disaster might need,” Bess said.

Convoy of Hope has begun offering its services at church events, even if there has not been a disaster.

Convoy of Hope will bring 648 pairs of new sneakers and 2,500 new pairs of socks, plus a truckload of shelf-stable food, for distribution at Day of Hope.

“We know a lot of kids are going to need new stuff for summer and the new school year,” Bess said. “It’s a tangible thing. Every kid is constantly growing and needing a new pair of shoes.”

He said families on a tight budget may not have $30 to $50 to spend on shoes for each child.

“We wanted to make their lives a little bit easier by providing that,” Bess said.

Each adult at Day of Hope will receive two bags of shelf-stable groceries as well.

A hot lunch consisting of hamburgers, hot dogs and other summer fare will be offered at the event.

“One of the best ways to support these families is to support them through nutrition,” Bess said.

He said his job at the Butler Area Public Library has demonstrated to him that programs like Day of Hope are sorely needed.

“Butler County has a very wide range of incomes,” Bess said. “We do know some suffer from need.”

Natalie Wall, Bess’ co-leader for Day of Hope, said there is a simple reason for holding the event.

“We hope kids learn that they are loved and seen by people and by God,” she said.

Wall said people planning to attend should register in the large hall at the legion, where they can then receive their new shoes and socks.

Adults will get tickets for their shelf-stable foods, then individuals or families can enjoy a hot lunch and some carnival games with small prizes.

“Every child will go home with a bag,” Wall said.

Members of Allison Park Church also will be on hand to chat with attendees.

“We have people who will talk with them and not judge them, just hear their stories,” Wall said. “Everyone has a story.”

She said she always remembers a Scripture from the Bible that advises Christians to always be ready to give a reason for the hope they have.

“We want to be a blessing, and we want people to feel hope,” Wall said.

All are invited to attend the free event, she said.

Peter Bess and Natalie Wall, of Allison Park Church at Clearview Mall, are co-leaders of the upcoming Day of Hope, which will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 13 at American Legion Post 778 in Butler Township. Justin Guido/Special to the Eagle
Natalie Wall and Peter Bess, of Allison Park Church at Clearview Mall, are co-leaders of the upcoming Day of Hope, which will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 13 at American Legion Post 778 in Butler Township. Justin Guido/Special to the Eagle
Natalie Wall and Peter Bess, of Allison Park Church at Clearview Mall, are co-leaders of the upcoming Day of Hope, which will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 13 at American Legion Post 778 in Butler Township. Justin Guido/Special to the Eagle
Allison Park Church volunteers prepare to inflate a bouncy house to entertain children at a carnival last summer at Rotary Park in Butler. This year, the church will hold Day of Hope from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 13 at American Legion Post 778 in Butler Township, where a hot lunch, new shoes, a food distribution and carnival games will be available to all. Submitted Photo
Allison Park Church volunteers prepare to inflate a bouncy house to entertain children at a carnival last summer at Rotary Park in Butler. This year, the church will hold Day of Hope from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 13 at American Legion Post 778 in Butler Township, where a hot lunch, new shoes, a food distribution and carnival games will be available to all. Submitted Photo
Last year, Allison Park Church’s Butler branch held a carnival at Rotary Park in Butler’s Island neighborhood with free food and games, and volunteers replaced a shed roof and performed other small projects for nearby Fishbone Ministries. Submitted Photo

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