More than 100 volunteers gathered together at the Chillicothe Middle School on Friday for the annual ONE Project event. The ONE Project was started about five years ago by the Chillicothe Ministerial Alliance.
More than 100 volunteers gathered together at the Chillicothe Middle School on Friday for the annual ONE Project event. The ONE Project was started about five years ago by the Chillicothe Ministerial Alliance. Each year one school in Chillicothe is selected for this benefit; during which members of the community come together and make improvements to that chosen school for one whole day. This project was created about the same time the school system was going through a financially tight time, according to Alan Brock, Chillicothe Ministerial Alliance president and pastor of Calvary Baptist Church. Brock said, a lot of times, schools don't have extra funds laying around; therefore, the school district helps pick which school needs the most improvements for that year, and ONE Project steps in to help. “This project is important because it shows that the churches care about the community... It's a way to show the community that the churches don't just have their hand out, but they have their hands up and helping, too," said Brock. The middle school had also been chosen for the ONE Project last year. Brock said there was just so much left to do after it was over that they had to come back again this year. Last year, the library ceiling was replaced and the library walls were painted. This year, ONE Project is replacing the library carpet (which has been there since the 1970s), and is painting the hallways, locker rooms and gym. Steve Haley, Chillicothe Middle School principal, estimates the library carpet being replaced this year to be about a $10,000 renovation. In addition to the help of ONE Project, Haley also mentioned that Life Point Church came by four Wednesdays in a row recently and painted five classrooms, the choir room, the band room and roughly 75 classroom tables. "We've been getting a ton of support lately," said Haley. Long-time ONE Project volunteer, Melissa Williams, said she keeps coming back to help every year because she "knows what it's like to be a teacher and wanting to work in a nice environment." Williams was an art teacher for six years, working in Springfield, Chillicothe and Brookfield. Williams was using her artistic hand to help with the painting in the hallways on Friday. The new carpet will be laid in the library this week. This Friday the ONE Project needs more volunteers to come help put the library back in order. Haley said, "It's a great way for kids and adults to come and show their support through their actions, not just words... We've been very blessed to have as many people as we have give up a day and help us get these projects accomplished." Donations for this project are made by businesses, individuals, churches and foundations. A list of donors will be printed later this week.