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Churches organize youth clean-up projects

By Beverly Harris-Walker

Bwalker@jacksonprogress-argus.com

While most children were relaxing on spring break, the children of Acts 1:8 Mission Project headed by Youth Pastor Roger Allen were donating their time to help citizens and organizations throughout Henry, Spalding, Clayton and Butts Counties.

125 children ranging from grades six through 12, from First Baptist Church in Jackson, First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Macedonia Baptist Church, Cross Ray Church of McDonough, Watermark Church of Jenkinsburg, and the River of Life Church, paid $50 to spend a week to make significant, selfless differences throughout the community.

The children slept at Jackson High School on air mattresses and sleeping bags. Cell phones, video games, and other devices were forbidden.

The intent was to allow the participants to get to know each other and individuals throughout the community without electronic distractions.

The children participating in the project expressed how wonderful it made them feel to help others and spend quality time together.

"I have been working with Pastor Allen for six years and you can tell that he is dedicated to serving the children and his community," said Jackie Brannen, an adult leader of the mission project.

Every morning began with devotion from various pastors, followed by breakfast. The children were then assigned tasks that were on the agenda for the day.

From stocking food at the Salvation Army's food bank, helping with clean-up projects at the Jackson Housing Authority, painting and pressure washing homes for elderly individuals that had been identified by people in community, sorting clothes at non-profit organizations, sitting and talking with senior citizens at the Senior Citizen's center, as well as painting and pressure washing at the high school, the children stayed extremely busy.

"It is moving to watch children in action," said Pastor Allen. "Butts County has been very receptive to our want to help and give back to the community."