During the holiday season, there are many opportunities for volunteering, serving or giving.
But what about the rest of the year?
Serving the community is at the core of the mission of Rocky River Church (RRC), which meets at Pitts School Elementary School in Concord.
Jimmy Britt, the founding pastor of RRC, and a core group of eight people, began the church in 1999 to reach and serve the community.
"I am determined to make sure that Rocky River is a church that is focused on showing people that God loves them and how they can know Him personally, rather than keeping old traditions alive," said Britt.
Staying true to this mission, RRC teaches and models community service, and that the church has started a group that has gotten RRC teenagers involved.
The Flood Student Ministry is a RRC service group with about 70 teenage members.
Travis Bush, who has been involved at RRC for the past three years, leads the group. Bush, 25, encourages the teens to discover ways to help in the community.
"The church as a whole should go out into the communities and not wait for people to come to them," he said. "We do our best to keep our ears open for opportunities to help."
The goal is for the teen group to do at least one project a month.
"The sky is the limit for us, as long as we have the abilities, skillfully and financially, to do so," said Bush. "When the need arises, we are there."
Among other things, the group does yard work, maintenance, cleaning projects and visits retirement communities.
Each summer the church also runs a full day "Thirst Camp" for teens and adults to concentrate on larger projects.
For one week last summer, 90 teens and adults participated in community outreach projects for four hours each morning followed by a worship service and lunch. The afternoons included games and free time followed by a discipleship class before dinner. The day ended with a worship service.
"We had 300 people one night with less than 100 signed up for camp," said Bush. "We plan to do the same thing this summer and although the date is not yet confirmed, we are anticipating a powerful week."
Last summer, the teen group spent four days at a Harrisburg resident's home. The woman was recovering from cancer and had recently lost her husband to Lou Gehrig's disease. The young widower had two adult children out of state and four newly adopted foster children under the age of 8, as well as two horses and a barn to care for.
The teens cleaned and mowed her two-acre yard, weeded flower beds, cleaned out the barn, painted the trim on her home and played with her children, allowing her some much needed personal time.
Morgan Lyman, a seventh-grader from Harrisburg, worked at this home.
"I felt like, for once, I could show my faithfulness and how much I love the Lord by helping others,"said Lyman. "It's something I wouldn't have been able to do, if it weren't for Rocky River Church."
The camp will run again this summer and is open to all.
Currently, the teens are volunteering with the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program, and they, along with the church, are adopting Angels, children, to buy Christmas presents for.
RRC has also planned a Christmas outreach on Dec.19. The group was to go into the community, set up in an outdoor space near a neighborhood with children and begin to celebrate Christ's birth. They prepared a meal, Christmas cookies and give a gift for each child who attended. The church ordered 200 soccer balls with an uplifting message printed on them. They also purchased 200 basketballs and 100 jump ropes.
"Our students are thinking completely out of the box about opportunities to minister in their community," said Bush. "They constantly want to do projects and be involved. It is exciting to see that our students are so fired up about giving back to their community. We are fulfilling needs for families through the love and strength of Christ."