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Brother’s Keeper offers community projects during pandemic

Nikki Nicholson, right, watches as McKenzie Grandon finishes a wheelchair ramp in Jackson County during the 2019 Brother’s Keeper camp. (File Photo)

RIPLEY — For 20 years, Brothers’ Keeper has ministered to the community around the Parchment Valley Conference Center in Ripley, but due to concerns with the pandemic, the camp has been canceled for 2020.

“Our students, volunteers and staff work each year serving as the hands and feet of Jesus,” said Scott Weaver, a pastor who serves as media manager for the Brother’s Keeper task force. “We have loved and cared for our neighbors throughout the Jackson County area. Now it is time to love and care for our neighbors right where we live.”

Weaver said that although camp has been canceled, those at Brother’s Keeper would like to continue being the hands and feet of the lord through “#BKATHOME”.

“For 20 years we gathered to worship, sing, praise and celebrate while serving our neighbors,” said Weaver. “This year, let’s take all that we have learned and get set to change the world right where we live.”

For those wondering what it means to #BKATHOME, the Brother’s Keeper group is encouraging people to brainstorm their own projects and send in videos, stories and testimonies about reaching in the community.

“Jesus says in Mark 12:30-31 that we are to first love God with all of our hearts. But then He goes on to say ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ It is time to serve our neighbors at home like we do every year at BK,” said Weaver.

During Brothers’ Keeper week June 21 to 24, the task force of Brothers Keeper will stream via YouTube its regular 7 p.m. BK evening worship.

According to Weaver, each evening will include videos from #BKATHOME, guest speakers who bring a message of encouragement and music from Blind Journey.

“While practicing safe social distancing and the rules of your state, find ways you can change the world right where you live,” said Weaver.

Weaver wanted to encourage people to participate in any way they can.

“Some projects will be big, others will be small; Some projects can be done right at your home, while other projects may require working in an area where safety precautions are necessary,” Weaver said.

The Brother’s Keeper task force provided project ideas for those who wish to participate.

* Take a meal to a family in need

* Help a food bank or soup kitchen distribute food

* Make masks for those who do not have resources.

* Make a flower garden or weed a garden bed for a local nursing home.

* Help in a community garden.

* Clean up trash in a local park (check to make sure you have permission).

* Check to see if your local charities need help of some kind.

* Tutor children or entertain them via Zoom or other online communication.

* Help your parents in a project at your own home.

* Offer to help shut-in neighbors take out the trash.

* Build a wheelchair ramp with the skills you learned at Brothers’ Keeper.

* Create a care kit for a shut-in neighbor.

* Hold a prayer vigil for a friend in need.

* Host a Vacation Bible School online.

* Weed a neighbor’s yard (with permission, of course).

* Help with an upkeep project at your church (painting, cleaning, etc).

* Offer to do an outdoor project at a neighbor’s home.

“Once you have recorded your videos and photos, forward them to bkathome@brotherskeeperwv.org. We will also interview those involved via Zoom,” said Weaver.

Weaver reminds youth who may participate to “please make sure your parents and guardians have approved any project you choose to do. And again, please make sure that you are focused on staying safe no matter what project you are doing”.

More information can be found at brotherskeeperwv.org or by calling (304) 372-3675. Project ideas can be emailed to bkathome@brotherskeeperwv.org.

Madeline Scarborough can be reached at mscarborough@newsandsentinel.com

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