Volunteers organize community hangout event at Tepe Park

Volunteers organize community hangout event at Tepe Park

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Volunteers from Potter’s Wheel and Crossroads Christian Church went out to Tepe Park on Saturday morning to spend the day with the community.

Volunteers told 14 News that events like these are a way to get to know the community and help out when a hand is needed.

“We really think is our neighborhood and our neighbors, they’re just like anybody else - they need to be loved just like you and me,” Program Director Bethany Craig said. “And so, however we can do that, that’s why we think it’s really important to build community in here. Yes, we provide a hot meal, but the most important thing that we do is remind them that they’re loved, and they have a whole community surrounding them and we’re in this together.”

“It’s really good to watch people light up that have felt like they’ve been neglected,” Mark Silen, pastor at Crossroads Christian Church said. “And when you’re just coming in to say, ‘Hey listen, we’re not trying to show off.’ We’re just trying to say you matter, you’re valuable, and being able to communicate that - it’s amazing how that lightens up a lot of people’s hearts.”

At Saturday’s community hangout, volunteers cooked burgers and packed up plates of food for those who attended. They also had gift basket giveaways, as well as put together a bouncy house for the kids.

“It brings the community together and I feel everything that’s going on with the pandemic, I feel like being together like a community is very very helpful as well,” Lewis Lopez, who lives in the community said.

Even after all the running around and laughing with friends, the kids feel the same way.

“It’s really cool to see the community together and peaceful, and not like fighting and being mad at each other,” Nevaeh Hernandez, who lives in the community said. “It’s a great time.”

“Now that the weather is nice, we’d love to be out here more,” Craig said. “We have a couple of neighborhood pop-up events that are going to be happening in the next couple of weeks. We’d like to do it once a month, especially now that COVID is kind of winding down and we can safely be out here with neighbors, as much as possible. That’s our goal.”

Volunteers say if anyone would like to help out with events like these community hangouts, click here to contact them through their Facebook page.

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