Our vision is to help change the face and identity of Modesto.
We are inspiring a renewed love for our city by leading community wide volunteer days, ongoing volunteerism, collaboration among leaders and initiatives with neighborhoods, schools and foster care/adoption.
Love Modesto started in 2007 at Big Valley Grace Community Church with two questions: 1) Why is our city on lists of the “worst cities in America”? 2) If our churches were to suddenly disappear from the Modesto area, would anyone even care or notice? We did not know the answers to these questions, but we knew we were called to love Modesto as Jesus would.
With a lot of dreaming and planning came our first Love Modesto on March 7, 2009. We were hoping for 100 people and more than 1,200 people showed up to love our city in practical ways. We’ve done this 12 more times since then and have added more than 50 cities. Over 70,500 people have been involved … young, old, abled, disabled; people from a church or no church at all. Around 250,000 volunteer hours have been donated – this is over $6.5 million dollars in service (independentsector.org) that we’ve given to our communities! At these community-wide volunteer days, people engage in a variety of projects, including offering food to the hungry, visiting convalescent homes, donating blood, building a house with Habitat for Humanity, and working in city parks and schools, among other opportunities.
Here are some of the stories:
“What a day! I think yesterday was probably the biggest special event day Modesto has ever had (I’ve lived here since 1971).”
“I got to be part of the parks & offer Danish & lemonade to people out there suffering as I was once 3 years ago. I got to share a bit of my experience, strength & hope and let them know that there’s help out there and that people do care.”
“We had a great day! Out of 30 people who volunteered, we now have about 20 new mentors who’ll work with students every week! Awesome!!!”
“Had an amazing time spreading encouragement to some of the Public Servants who sacrifice so much to serve and protect our city. Thank you to Firestation #7!”
“If Love Modesto never happened again, we are making this part of who we are!”
After the first couple of years of these volunteer days, we were realizing that more sustainable solutions were needed in order to see our city transformed. Our efforts evolved from beyond a day to championing ongoing volunteerism (over 90 amazing area organizations), collaboration among leaders and initiating Love Our Neighborhoods, Love Our Schools and Love ALL Our Kids.
There have been so many amazing stories that have emerged from Love Modesto over the years, but the greatest stories are still to be told. We believe and are committed (along with so many others in our city) to making Modesto one of the great turn around stories in American history!
This is love, living in the way God commanded us to live. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is this: live a life of love. 2 John 6