Ten years ago, Rick Hendricks attended Northside Baptist Church’s annual “Shake N Shine” camp, a weeklong event in which volunteers from the church accompanied at risk youth from Greenwood county to Erskine College, where they were given the opportunity to become positive role models to the children they encountered. Little did Hendricks know that his experience at the camp would forever change his life, saying that reaching these kids one week out of the year simply wasn’t enough.
“I began talking to Pastor Jeff Lethco and thought ‘what if we could do Shake N Shine every week?’” Hendricks explained.
From that conversation, Project Love was born. Hendricks and his wife, Joyce, welcome kids from all over the city each Saturday to Northside, where the children are able to enjoy food, music, games, and most importantly, an opportunity to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. According to Hendricks, the growth of Project Love, which just celebrated its tenth year of existence, has been a rewarding experience.
“God really placed a need on my heart to help these kids,” Hendricks said. “The whole thing has really been a work of God.”
Hendricks and his wife have also had the pleasure of working with hundreds of volunteers throughout Northside’s congregation, and as Hendricks explained, there would be no Project Love, if not for their volunteers.
“Whether it is through teaching, driving the bus to pick kids up every Saturday, or working in the sound booth, people are using the gifts that God has given them to minister to these children,” Hendricks said. “That is truly what the church is supposed to look like.”
For those interested in volunteering at Project Love, contact Northside Baptist Church at (864)-229-6010.