Organization focus areas: Community Wide Volunteerism, Ongoing Volunteerism, Leadership, Collaboration, Neighborhoods, Schools, Kids (foster care/adoption)
Jeff Pishney is the Executive Director of Love Modesto which facilitates community wide volunteerism and neighborhood, school and kids’ initiatives. 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?
They did not know the answers to these questions, but they knew they were called to love Modesto as Jesus would. With a lot of dreaming and planning came the first Love Modesto on March 7, 2009. They were hoping for 100 people and more than 1,200 people showed up to love Modesto in practical ways.
They have done these volunteer days for nine years and have helped more than 60 other cities. Over 111,000 people have been involved … young, old, abled, disabled; people from a church or no church at all. Around 388,500 volunteer hours have been donated – this is over $9.4 million dollars in service (independentsector.org) that has been given to communities.
One of our greatest successes has been…
I think everything we’ve narrowed our focus in on now with: Community Wide Volunteerism, Ongoing Volunteerism, Leadership Collaboration, Neighborhoods, Schools, Kids (foster care/adoption).
One thing we would not do again…
- Just rely on and/or expect too much out of churches
- Have projects that are not sustainable and where people can not get involved regularly
- Wasting time and energy leading good initiatives that are not volunteer-based
- Have low expectations of project leaders
- Have low expectations of businesses’ involvement in volunteering and funding
One moment when I thought: “This is why I do what I do” was…
Emails like this I read from our cities:
“Our leader John Slope was incredible. I’m not a church person, but John talked to me about why he helps out on projects through Love Fullerton and now I will visit his church at Ev Free church in Fullerton. If people like John are real— I want to be a part of whatever he has.” — Dave and Tammy