If you drive in downtown Wyandotte today, you might notice an extra sparkle.
Nearly 20 volunteers from Wyandotte Family Church spent Thursday afternoon washing windows of downtown businesses, including vacant properties.
The community service is part of Wyandotte Family Church’s second annual which includes three parties in Wyandotte parks, two outdoor concerts and a finale that includes a 3-on-3 basketball tournament.
Many of the volunteers spent Thursday morning at a party at Pulaski Park enjoying clowns, puppets, face painting and games.
After a quick lunch from at , the group gathered on the corner of Biddle and Oak to begin their window-cleaning efforts.
Crystal Beliel, an intern at Wyandotte Family Church, said the group was there to serve the community.
“We are out today making Wyandotte look good–even better than it already does,” she said.
For Beliel, it was a day full of activities she loves to do. She spent the morning teaching children about Jesus and the afternoon serving the community.
“We want to come do whatever we can,” Beliel said. “You can’t sit inside your church and hope people show up.”
Shaun Walczak of Allen Park brought six children to help with window washing, four of her own and two neighbors. Walczak is new to the church and wanted to be a part of the experience.
“When other people see the love of Christ in you, it brightens everyone,” Walczak said.
This is the second time the church has provided free window washing to downtown businesses. Empty storefronts were automatically cleaned, and permission was asked of occupied businesses.
Pastor Jeremy Gyorke of Wyandotte Family Church said the focus of the church is faith, family and fun. He said community service helps strengthen their focus.
“This is a way to teach people and stay focused on our vision,” he said. “It’s not what we do. It’s who we are."
Ed Ramold of Farmington Hills came to help and brought his 7-year-old daughter, Sophia. As a parent, he said, it's important to model unselfish behavior.
“As a parent, it’s good to show your kids it’s important to serve,” Ramold said.
Nineteen-year-old Kevin McCabe has worked on and off as a window washer and donated his skills to the effort.
“It’s really nice to use something I’ve learned to try and make money and do it for free to help people out,” McCabe said.
McCabe said using the squeegee is the most difficult part of window washing because you don’t want to leave streaks. He did offer volunteers a tip for squeegee handling.
“Never stop the squeegee," he said. "Always keep it moving."
Kelly Kinnell of Plymouth came to the event for several reasons, including helping Wyandotte Family Church get their name out. A Trenton native, Kinnell said, Wyandotte has an old heart and she came to give back to the community.
“It’s about getting the word out about the misconceptions people have about Christians,” Kinnell said.
Jade Velez, 12, said it makes her feel good to help other people. Her brother, Jaron Walczak, 10, summed up his feelings about volunteering in one word–“Awesome!”
The group continues their community service Friday at Bishop Park where they will be picking up garbage and scrubbing graffiti. Gyorke said he hopes to clean as many parks in Wyandotte as they can, starting with the larger parks.
Aside from the work aspect of the weeklong event, the church also is hosting fun events for the community.
The Saturday Grand Finale at Pulaski Park includes a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, with four Cedar Point tickets going to the winning team. Students entering sixth through 12th grades are eligible and teams can consist of up to four players, with one being the alternate. Sign-ups are still being accepted online. Games begin at 11 a.m.
For younger children on Saturday, there will be a Kid’s Zone at Pulaski Park with inflatables, balloon animals and face painting. The fun kicks off at noon.
For more information, visit the church website.