SERVE Noblesville: Community service initiative marks largest year yet, brings back Cultural Celebration

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In its largest effort yet, SERVE Noblesville returns next week to help spruce up the city, engage with and connect neighbors and improve the community during its June 26-29 four-day blitz.

“This will be our eighth year, and each year brings its own unique set of challenges,” said Patrick Propst, SERVE Noblesville chair and lead pastor at Faith Community Church. “What we’re seeing this year is a lot of corporate engagement. We have a number of corporate groups that are signed on to come out, volunteer and serve.”

SERVE Noblesville kicked off its annual season last month. The event, Come Together, held May 24-27, encouraged neighbors and neighborhoods to connect to hold small grassroots, resident-driven events, such as cookouts with neighbors, helping neighbors with landscaping and other projects.

“That was created for a couple of reasons, knowing we were coming up on the anniversary of the shooting (at Noblesville West Middle School), but also it was at about the same time that we kick off our season in terms of getting volunteers registered and starting to promote everything,” Propst said. “We heard so much last year about how we needed to come together, and that is exactly what SERVE Noblesville is about. So, we did our soft, organic kind of weird grassroots thing.

“Next year, we may double down with that event that may lead to us doing a cookout or something like that.”

Starting with a couple dozen projects and approximately 200 to 300 volunteers, Propst said SERVE Noblesville is the largest its ever been in scope.

“We’ll have just over 70 projects that we’re chasing down for the year,” he said. “The potential for volunteers is over 1,000. What we’re expecting, though, is somewhere between 700 and 800 volunteers. Many of those are in partnership with the Noblesville Street Dept., Noblesville Parks, Janus Developmental Services, Prevail, Inc., Shepherd’s Center, etc. It’s nice that we get to serve a number of nonprofits in the community that struggle to get a base of volunteers to come out and help them (complete projects).”

A simplified registration process has been introduced this year.

“We’ve changed our registration a little bit to make it easier,” Propst said. “So, if someone knows they’re coming out on a specific day, they’ll choose that day (on our website), and it will list all of the projects, and they can choose from that list the one that they  want to be a part of.”

Projects vary between community cleanup and to repair to meal packing and crafts, among others.

One of the larger events, Community Giveaway, returns this year. Through its “U Call, We Haul” system, SERVE Noblesville volunteers will pick up donations and drive them back the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville for the event, held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 29. The event is operated like a large yard sale, but the items are free.

Some easily seen projects to be completed include a highway cleanup of Ind. 37 with Keep Noblesville Beautiful; a mural project next to Syd’s Bar & Grill with Nickel Plate Arts; freshening up paint on crosswalk art projects at either Maple and Ninth streets or at Forest Park with Nickel Plate Arts; painting the skate park and fence around the miniature golf area at Forest Park; sidewalk cleanup on historic brick sidewalks downtown; building and planting gardens with the Noblesville Community Garden; and blood drives at Riverview Health’s Krieg DeVault Room, 395 Westfield Rd., and at Community Health Pavilion, 9669 E. 146th St.

For a complete list of projects or to sign up, visit servenoblesville.com.

CULTURAL CELEBRATION

As part of its commitment and involvement with the Noblesville Diversity Coalition, SERVE Noblesville will play host to its Cultural Celebration from 6 to 9 p.m. June 28 on the downtown square.

In 2018, the event featured more than a dozen booths with food, music and other activities, displaying the traditions of cultures and nations worldwide, including Puerto Rico, Kenya, Venezuela, Belgium, Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Jamaica and West African nations.

“This also will be our second year for the Cultural Celebration,” Propst said. “It will again display kind of how broad the diversity is in the community, so we’re hoping to have some local, stayed culture that’s been here a long time as well as some new faces, members and aspects to that event. Last year, we pulled the event together in six weeks, and it was really great because it felt like this backyard family reunion. We’re hoping that it has the same feel again.”

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