(WJHL) — This week’s community hero wants to make the world a better place with acts of kindness, including in his own community.
Russ Rogers’ career of service to others began in an unusual way.
“Somebody drug me on a mission trip to Belize, and I thought ‘Oh my gosh, what in the world happened here?'” he said. “But, I saw for that week I was in Belize, I saw how that group changed from the beginning to the week to the end of the week, and it’s a little deeper than ‘Hey, we have it better than those guys.'”
It was then Rogers started Hands of Service Missions, supporting missionaries in multiple countries, Indian reservations, and in his backyard of Kingsport.
“Here in Kingsport, we put roofs on houses, wheelchair ramps,” he said. “It kind of got out of hand a couple of times where churches across the country would make Kingsport their mission trip, and we would get with the city and churches, and we would have three to four hundred people doing nothing but going out into the city and helping.”
Rebuilding and strengthening homes and faith changes lives, even for the volunteers.
“Getting somebody on a Friday night and Saturday, and we’ll put a roof on, a wheelchair ramp, or fix a floor, paint a house, or whatever, and all those people go, ‘Wow, this was so cool! When’s the next one? When’s the next week-long thing?'”
Rogers says you don’t need a big planned trip to help someone. Even walking a few blocks from home, you may find someone in need.
“You don’t need an organization,” Rogers explained. “Walk down ten streets in any town you live in. Somebody needs some help, I promise you.”
For more information on Hands of Service Missions, go to hsmissions.org.