Members of Common Ground Church wanted to make a difference, and their ‘Think Tank’ found a way for them – as volunteers for a clothing exchange
Pastor Shane Taylor felt there was something more that Common Ground Church could be actively involved in.
He presented an idea to the fellowship, asking the church as a whole to begin considering to be part of a “Think Tank Task Team.” The beginning purpose was to generate ideas in how the church could impact its community – to show it’s here to serve and not be served.
The team’s first meeting was Jan. 20 and continued to meet every other Sunday since. Ideas were presented and discussed. Many shared their heart and the passion God was drawing them toward, each believing their idea would be a benefit within the community.
All felt that in bringing ideas forward would generate momentum to begin impacting the community. With these small steps of faith, “we have begun seeing an action revolutionary movement start within our church,” said a Common Ground spokesperson.
It was mid-February when the church members heard about the Greater Maple Valley Community Center clothing exchange. Rebecca Bowen, who is actively involved in the Tahoma School District, brought the event to the attention of Common Ground’s Think Tank team, and action followed.
An announcement was made, making churchgoers aware there was an immediate need for clothing to be donated for the event. Volunteers began accepting clothing during Common Ground’s Sunday services two weeks prior to the exchange, which was set for a Wednesday evening on March 5 at the community center. The concept of the exchange was for anyone in need of updating their small-size clothing to bring them in for the proper fitting size they needed. This part of the exchange was set from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Then from 7:30 to 8, those in need of free clothing could pick what they needed.
Common Ground, as a whole, collected approximately 35 containers of clothes, from small to extra-large bags and boxes. Church members helped gather and separate the donated clothes, which ranged in sizes from birth to adult.
Six volunteers from the church participated in the evening’s exchange. They included Rebecca Bowen, Niccole Bourlier, Heather Klos, Milissa Grant, Daryl Blue, and Reshel Reid. Their contact person throughout the event was Kim Chan, who helped give the church the information and prepare for the event.
Chan and Bowen were keys in getting things organized, a church spokesperson said.
Reid, one of the Common Ground volunteers, said she’s “thankful and appreciative for the entirety of our involvement as members” of the church, “but moreover as an individual who lives in this community. The true blessing is becoming aware I can begin making a difference in one small way here, in my own community.”
Chan applauded the efforts of Common Ground’s members and others, calling the clothing exchange “a real community effort.”
“So many clothes were donated. They were literally piled on the tables,” Chan said. She noted that Lake Wilderness Elementary School “brought in a good number of bags” of clothing, and another 15 boxes came “from people in the community who were trading or donating.”
During the exchange, “we had a steady stream of people the entire time,” Chan added.
Organizational help came from the community center’s family and youth program, including parents of children in the Play and Learn preschool class.
The Safeway store in Maple Valley donated paper bags for the event.
Common Ground meets at Tahoma Junior High School for Sunday morning services at 10 o’clock, and a youth group meet son Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at 26207 Maple Valley Hwy., suite D. Information on the church is available at (425) 413-1870.