Redeemer Church in Oakdale, which just celebrated its second birthday, had planned to put on a little shindig in a park – complete with free food, games, and a band – in order to give back to their community and get in touch with its members. However, due to COVID restrictions, that wasn’t a viable option for this year. Instead, they found another way to give back.
“We just felt like during a time when our world is facing division on all sides, we wanted to ask ourselves, ‘What can we do?’” local pastor, Bill Kenoyer, shared of his church’s recent endeavor.
The answer was simple: Share the love.
“How we’re partnering with Love Our Cities is we’re selling a shirt called ‘Love People,’” Kenoyer explained, noting that 100 percent of the proceeds go back to the Love Our Cities volunteer organization, to aid them in their mission of helping others.
Local businesses like Koru Yoga Studio and Get Fit Oakdale have already helped promote this effort.
“As people get ahold of this, they’re sharing it,” Kenoyer enthused.
The T-shirt was designed by church member Daniel Versola and is on sale for pre-order until Sunday, Aug. 16, only a few short days away. The shirt is available for pick up or delivery and is between $20-$29 depending on style and size.
“When we started Redeemer Oakdale, one of the things we wanted to do as a church is to be able to help our town,” Kenoyer elaborated, explaining that they also have partnered with the Center for Human Services and Oakdale Rescue Mission.
As Kenoyer detailed, Love Oakdale “is sort of a hub that seeks to find people that want to give help and people who need help and put those two together.” Regularly this could look like picking up trash, helping out schools, or doing various building projects throughout the community. During the pandemic, volunteers also have started picking up groceries for those at risk and who can’t make it to the store.
The site where people can purchase shirts also links them to Love Our Neighbors and Love All Our Kids, which have similar mission statements – be a catalyst for serving those in need through volunteering and donating – just with more specific niches.
“I’d love to see this expand beyond Oakdale, I’ve reached out to pastors across the country to see if they’d do this in their own city,” Kenoyer added.
To contribute to the local effort and get a “Love People” shirt, visit lovepeople.itemorder.com and to connect more with Redeemer Church in Oakdale, visit redeemeroakdale.com.