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Showing the community the love of Christ

Shinefest’s neighborhood impact projects return

After being forced to take last summer off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shinefest is back this week, helping local residents with household projects around the Valley Park neighborhood.

“I love that we are making a difference in a neighborhood in Albert Lea,” said project leader and volunteer Jan Sease. “It’s very community-oriented. It’s very people-oriented. It makes me happy when I can do things for people, especially people in need. You see that joy and it is so infectious and addicting.”

Starting Monday evening and continuing each night through Thursday, Shinefest is organized by numerous religious organizations in the local communities. The group usually helps one neighborhood and changes neighborhoods every year.

While the number of projects was lower this year, volunteers of all ages showed up to help members of the neighborhood with small home maintenance and repairs, yard work and landscaping, general cleanup, painting and staining and other small projects.

David Vanderploeg, who serves on the Shinefest leadership team, said it’s about showing the community the love of Jesus Christ.

“Shinefest consists of about 15, 16 churches,” Vanderploeg said. “That faith community is reaching out to the greater community to show the love of Christ. We try to focus that all in one week — then hopefully the volunteers and people that work on it, we can show them that this is something they can take back and do with their individual churches.”

In most years Shinefest has about 30 volunteers each night to work on the various projects. Vanderploeg estimated that number might be down a little this year, but the work will be done nonetheless.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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