For the past four years, Willow South Lake has had a partnership with A Safe Place, an organization in Lake County that offers help and aid to survivors of domestic abuse and human trafficking; A Safe Place is the largest organization of its kind in Lake County. Through their partnership, Willow South Lake has opened its doors to A Safe Place, allowing the organization to use its space every Tuesday for meetings and consultations, and some Willow congregants have even utilized their services. Through this partnership, long-time Willow member, Reg, learned about A Safe Place and the resources they offer.
Coming out of this past year’s Celebration of Hope, Reg became fired up and wanted to help those in his community. He created an event called “Ride for A Safe Place,” a motorcycle ride with the essential purpose of raising funds for A Safe Place.
Reg contacted the head of Compassion and Justice Ministries at Willow South Lake, Barb, and told her about his idea. Barb’s response was simply this: How can we support you?
For the next several weeks, Reg did a lot of leg work: He was able to get Woodstock Harley as a sponsor of the event, he put a motorcycle in the lobby of South Lake to drum up conversation and awareness of the upcoming ride, and he handed out fliers to fellow riders. To raise funds, in order to participate in the ride, a donation of $20 was recommended. Many riders gave much more!
On August 22, at 10 a.m., the Ride for a Safe Place started up; close to 25 bikes left Willow South Lake. The group rode to Woodstock Harley where lunch was provided completely free of charge (thanks to Woodstock Harley). From there, the group picked up ten more riders and rode out to A Safe Place. Once they arrived, the riders presented the organization with a check for over $1450.
Reg is already planning next year’s event and is looking forward to partnering with every Willow campus, and other churches, too, tearing down barriers and crossing lines for a unified cause: serving those in our communities through the love of Jesus Christ.
As a church, we’re blown away when we hear stories like Reg’s. Let’s follow his example and continue to be the Church in our neighborhoods and love, serve, and give, being the hands and feet of Jesus wherever we go.