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Beyond community service: One by One Serve Fresno

Children of all ages followed their siblings as smiles grew on their faces, as a group of volunteers met them at Susan B. Anthony Elementary on Nov 19.

One boy in particular jumped over one of the neighborhood fences and rushed to the elementary school, kicking a soccer ball. Another kindergarten girl tagged along-side her sister lugging a ?Kim Possible? backpack that appeared to overwhelm her.

As they rounded the block of their neighborhood school, a host of volunteers met them in the street.

The leadership class joined with different local churches and many other volunteers around Fresno including campus students to work and serve in different areas of need in the downtown area on Nov 19.

Service opportunities included yard maintenance, restoring old homes, visiting the elderly, food drive, cleaning up parks and playing with children at local schools.

While sitting at the dinner table one evening with her family discussing ways to serve the community Betsey Hulme, a fourth grader at Fresno Christian Elementary, discovered the idea to get involved in a program called One by One Leadership.

The Hulme family asked Pat Unruh, elementary principal, to promote the program on campus who also made it available to high school.

?I didn?t volunteer for this program for community service for Bible class,? Kassy Batesole, ?06, said. ?I wanted to do something for my community because I believe God calls us to. I really enjoyed playing sports with the kids and getting to know them.?

About 1,100 people were sent on the 19th to different areas in Fresno, including the seven high school students and two elementary families.

?It was an opportunity to bring people from different walks of life together and help serve the community,? Chris Schultz, dean of men, said. ?This was a chance to make a difference in someone?s life.?

Many of the leadership students who were involved walked away with a feeling of satisfaction.

?It was so neat to interact with the children and see their smiling faces,? Jessica Berg, ?07, said. ?All of us were playing a game of baseball and one of the little girls got hit in the head, she immediately came running to me and cuddled up in my lap. It was truly a blessing how responsive and loving the kids were.?

Sports activities included games of baseball and basketball and the day ended with a small Bible study.

?Every semester FCA is involved in a service project, so this semester along with the leadership class we decided to join with Serve Fresno,? Eric Gilmore, leadership adviser, said. ?I believe God has called his people to a discipleship of serving just as He has served his people. When teenagers can be involved and instill that inspiration in their hearts, they will realize that there is a world bigger than themselves.?

Curt Madden, director and founder of One by One Leadership, established a mission for the program in outlook of serving the Fresno area: ?To engage people in urban leadership that results in economic education and spiritual transformation.?

For more information go online at or call Curt Madden at 559-233-2000.

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