Approximately 382 people have signed up to take part in Saturday's "Love Ceres" event with many more who have verbally pledged to come out and work a few hours to improve life in Ceres.
The Saturday morning event will give community-minded people a chance to do some jobs that will make them feel good while helping others. Jobs include spending a morning helping shut-in residents with yard work or picking up trash throughout Ceres. Others will be visiting lonely elderly residents of a convalescent hospital or washing cars of senior citizens who don't have the energy.
Event organizer Bryan Nicholes, who is the Ceres Fire Chief and worshiper at the church which started the "Love" events, said there is plenty of time to sign up for volunteer jobs advertised on the www.loveceres.com website.
Most of the jobs that need to be filled with volunteers only will require work from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
An estimated 40 persons are needed to provide car washes to senior citizens that morning at a location that will be determined later.
Visits to a convalescent and retirement home will be set up to encourage, visit, listen to and/or pray with a lonely resident. About 25 people are needed for the task.
Approximately 40 people are being sought to bring yard tools to help people in need with home and yard projects from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Others are being asked to walk neighborhoods to collect food items for Ceres food banks and toys for the Children's Crisis Center of Stanislaus County.
Those who cannot find the time can help by donating a bag of groceries for those who are in need. The Love Ceres organizers are seeking just 40 persons for donations.
Persons may also contribute baby items to the Children's Crisis Center, and the Turtles and Ducks program that helps teen moms at Argus High School.
The Ceres Library will be visited by approximately 14 volunteers who will organize shelves of books, general cleaning and dusting. Training will be provided.
The Hatch Road commercial district will be cleaned of trash while some trim bushes and remove other debris. About 50 persons are needed for the job that runs from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The clean-up will concentrate on the area between Herndon and Richland.
Clean-up efforts will also be extended to parks and neighborhoods, including trash pick-up, painting and graffiti removal. Organizers would like 80 persons for the job. Another 30 are being sought to do downtown clean-up, including alley clean-up and sidewalk clean-up. Thirty persons will be solicited to help clean-up residential properties in the downtown area.
An unlimited group of adults are being asked to consider attending a mentor orientation and training session so that they will be equipped to volunteer at a local school. Training will be offered from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
About eight persons are needed at the Ceres Community Center to provide free lunch and encouragement to anyone in need.
About 100 jobs are available for a Truck & Motorcycle Show from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. with a men's clothing drive and to man a kids information booth.
Workers are needed to help maintain the grounds of the Clinton Whitmore Mansion, which recently came into city ownership.
Those who would like to help but are physically unable to may wish to be a part of a prayer team. Individuals may pray from their home or travel to places in Ceres that are deemed in need of prayer.
Children are welcome to participate in projects that are kid friendly, said Nicholes.
Love Ceres was started in 2011 by members of Modesto and Ceres churches as a way of demonstrating kindness, meeting needs of the community and impacting the lives of people with the love of Jesus Christ through Christian action. The volunteer effort was not limited to just the faith-based community members and in 2011 the Love Ceres event drew others like school groups, Boy and Girls Scouts and veterans groups. An estimated 500 turned out for the first annual event in Ceres. The effort has spread to other communities as well.
To sign-up for jobs, visit www.loveceres.com.