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Volunteer slots still open for ‘Love Ceres’
• Event is this Saturday
Love Ceres trash picking
Volunteers will be cleaning and doing other good deeds this Saturday. This was part of the work in Love Ceres of April 2015. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/ Courier file photo

“Love Ceres,” the faith-based organization of work projects to take place this Saturday, and has garnered over 100 volunteers and 10 committee members. More are needed and jobs will be found for all who turn out.

The event is designed to help others and improve the appearance of Ceres.

Brandy Meyer and husband Keith are spearheading the event, which is set for Saturday, April 30. The plan is to have volunteers gather at Whitmore Park at 8 a.m. and receive direction on work assignments. The Lions Club will feed volunteers with hot breakfast burritos. Project work will begin at 9 a.m. at designated locations.

“I was hoping for 50 to 75 people and we are now like at 105,” said Brandy Meyer.  “We currently have nine projects scheduled throughout the city. “Five of our projects are clean-up and/or abatement projects.”

The projects and the number of openings for volunteers are as follows:

• Blaker Kinser Junior High School students writing encouraging messages in cards to staff members which will be handed out during National Teacher Appreciation Week; and installing shorter fencing around the grass area; 24 openings. Leader is Ella Oliver.

• Assembling potted plants to be delivered to residents of community homes; 14 openings remain. Leaders are Brandy Meyer and Jim Stohl.

• Trash pick-up at various locations in Ceres, 28 openings remain. Pastor Jim Hanna is the project leader.

• 25 have signed up to wash first-responders’ vehicles, including fire trucks, ambulances, police cars and ambulances. No openings remain. Ryan Guinn is leading the project.

• Clean-up and trash pick-up at Mae Hensley Junior High School led by Josh Helton and Pete Kirchhoff of Youth for Christ; 15 openings remain.

• Smyrna Park clean-up; 21 openings remain. Anthony Sims of the city of Ceres is the project leader.

• Repairs to the Ceres High School baseball fields and painting of the dugouts; 17 openings remain under the leadership of Aaron Yanagi.

• Assembling “Go bags” for shelters who help victims fleeing from domestic violence. Materials are being collected by the Soroptimist International of Ceres; 23 opening remain to help assemble the bags at 2904 Fourth Street. Beth Stochl is the project leader.

• Laying tan bark in the flower beds of the Ceres Community Center, as led by the Ceres Chamber of Commerce.

Money and materials are being donated to get supplies. Some of the donors include the city of Ceres, Love Stanislaus, Turlock Irrigation District, various churches including Harvest Presbyterian and Big Valley Grace and Meyer’s CPR & First Aid. Volunteers are still welcome to sign up for a project online at The first 100 volunteers will receive T-shirts which are being donated by Ceres Pentecostal Church.

Free water bottles will be donated to the volunteers.

Various businesses have committed to give volunteers a discount on purchases made on that Saturday if the “Love Ceres” sticker is shown. They will be given out during registration at 8 a.m.

Supporting the “Love Ceres” get off the ground is the “Love Stanislaus County” group with inclusion on their website. Anyone can visit to sign up if interested or email Brandy Meyer at

Love Ceres was lasted held in Ceres in 2018 and drew an army of volunteers who picked up trash and cleaned up areas of the city. In years past, projects have included interacting with residents of a Ceres rest home facility, maintenance projects and car washings for seniors and shut-ins, feeding homeless persons, mentoring children, parks and neighborhood clean-up, assisting at the Ceres Library, a prayer team and home and yard maintenance.

Jeff Pichney of Big Valley Grace started Love Modesto and it was spread to Ceres in 2011 partially through the efforts of Bryan and Becki Nicholes.