Since having their vision fulfi lled in January 2007 of becoming a recognized 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, Operation Inasmuch (OIAM) has served thousands of less fortunate residents in Cumberland County.
The mission is simple: “To walk among the broken and struggling, being the hands and feet of Jesus.”
On Saturday, April 9, Operation Inasmuch will continue its mission, with the annual Blitz Day. This year’s Blitz Day will mark the 16th year for the project, and will grant Operation Inasmuch an opportunity to add to the 30 neighborhoods it has already served since fi rst beginning.
Blitz Day is a day where a “neighborhood is selected to receive home repairs, yard maintenance and a block party for those young and old.”
Who is responsible for providing all of this? Community volunteers and local churches sign up to help make the day a success. Blitz Day is covered with “dedicated Christians fulfi lling their calling of service to others,” by doing this, “they become the hands and feet of Jesus.”
The selected neighborhood to reap the benefi ts of Blitz Day this year is the neighborhood of Evan’s Hill. Seventy churches have signed up to volunteer. Some of the activities they will perform are: painting houses, building a wheelchair ramp and throwing a neighborhood block party. OIAM Executive Director, Sue Byrd, says that “neighborhoods are stronger when we leave” because “neighbors who weren’t talking to each other, are now talking to each other.” The Blitz Day helps to create a family in the neighborhoods.
Blitz Day is the signature project, but Operation Inasmuch offers a host of other programs for the less fortunate. One of the programs offered is the Jobs for Life Program. The program is designed to prepare community residents with the requisite skills needed to fi nd employment. The Breakfast Ministry provides a healthy and nutritious breakfast for homeless men and women; and the Home Sweet Home Program awards individuals with permanent shelter.
Recently, OIAM renovated its first house on Frink Street, fi ve men were able to move in. These men have been with OIAM and have participated in several of the programs, which helped them get back on their feet. OIAM calls this project the Frink Street Transformation Project. This project will allow them to put the homeless in homes and not in shelters, because one night in a shelter “does not change your life.”
Blitz Day will take place on April 9 in the neighborhood of Evans Hill. The event will kickoff at 7:30 a.m. The block party will begin at 11 a.m. and will last until the mission to transform the neighborhood is complete. Sue Byrd says that at the end of the day, they just want to “cover the whole neighborhood and community with the love of Jesus.”
To learn more about OIAM and the services they provide, visit their website at www.faoiam.org.
PHOTO: Hundreds of volunteers contributed to Operation Inasmuch Blitz Day last year.