The Church of God in Ridgewood gave some very much needed love to the Rutherford Community Garden on Sunday, February 22. World Mission Society Church of God members helped remove neglected trash from the park, located at the intersection of Erie and Grand Avenue. This landscape, near the old Rutherford railroad station, was turned into a public garden and park for residents. Now it has become a beloved park in the Rutherford community.

At 10:30 a.m., 70 Church of God members showed up in their trademark yellow shirts to complete a variety of tasks. With great anticipation of upgrading the garden, they went straight to work. Volunteers didn’t waste any time, picking up debris, raking leaves, and spreading mulch throughout the garden. One might assume that people would be unwilling to participate in a community service in such cold weather. However, the Church of God volunteers worked cheerfully, even in 35-degree weather.

The garden was established 10 years ago for the community. Yet, unfortunately, debris has piled up on the ground over the years. Recently, residents began to express concern about the accumulation of waste. For this reason, Church of God members did not limit themselves to only picking up garbage, rotten logs, and leaves. They also contributed to the beautification of the garden so that Rutherford residents will be able to enjoy the garden even more than before. Volunteers built flower benches for the elderly as well as a composting area for leaves to be collected in preparation for fertile soil.

John Hughes, Vice Chairman of the Rutherford Green Team, had nothing but praising words for the Church of God in Ridgewood. “The World Mission Society Church of God came in here with a bunch of wonderful volunteers who rolled up their sleeves and just made a beautiful area and our community even more beautiful,” said John Hughes. “I think the community is going to love what you did as they see it.”

Briana Morales, a Rutherford resident, participated in the volunteer service and could not contain her excitement. When asked about working alongside the Church of God she said, “There’s a lot of love here, and it’s not only with action. You can feel the love and unity. It was definitely a good experience.”

This volunteer event marks the 3,560th cleanup the Church of God has carried out worldwide. Through continuous unity and sincere devotion, the members are steadfast in providing local aid for surrounding towns. In fact, such actions come from the volunteers’ desire to follow the example of Heavenly Mother’s love and care for others. John Hughes captured it best: “Everyone in your group just showed love. You showed love for nature, love for community, and you showed love for your fellow-man. I mean, what can be better than that?”