With 1,000 people or more expected to attend this year’s Thousand Ten project, a miracle is about to take place, organizers said.

As part of its community outreach ministry, The Alley is again putting on the event, which brings people together to help out their neighbors and fellow residents of Seymour.

Pastor Rick Wilson started the Thousand Ten Project in 2011 to make a difference in people’s lives and in Seymour.

“To be the hands and feet of Jesus,” he said.

He asked himself what would happen if 1,000 people came together for one day, each with $10 in their pocket, and then spent that money in distressed neighborhoods to help people who are struggling to meet the everyday challenges of life.

Wilson said the purpose of the Thousand Ten Project is not to judge people for the situation they’re in but to show compassion and understanding.

“We’ve all been down at some point in our lives and could have used a helping hand. That’s what we’re doing,” he said. “We are making a tangible difference in the lives of poverty-stricken families.

“We purchase groceries, school clothes, buy prescriptions, pay utility bills, top off gas tanks and much more,” he added.

Now in its sixth year, Wilson said he hopes this is the year he reaches his goal of 1,000 people.

“It has never happened, but we have over 100 teams signed up,” he said. “So if everyone shows up, we will be a force carrying out God’s will.”

Last year, Wilson said around 250 people participated, and he thought about canceling the event this year because of attendance. But instead, he challenged himself and others to work harder to recruit people.

Teams consist of at least 10 people and are from churches, local businesses and industries, service organizations and families.

The sixth annual Thousand Ten Project will start with registration at 10 a.m. Sept. 10 at Shields Park in Seymour. A rally will be at 11 a.m., lunch at 11:30 a.m. and teams will then hit the streets at 12:30 p.m. to canvass neighborhoods for people to help.

Some addresses of people who have requested assistance will be provided to help teams get started.

At 2:30 p.m., a closing ceremony with live music will take place at the park, and participants will get to share their stories of how they were able to help.

Besides helping others, Wilson said the event also shows people the kind of lives believers should be living on a regular basis, not just for one day.

“Sometimes, we forget what our responsibilities are as a church and as a people,” he said. “We forget about the needs that are out there.”

Wilson said he knows the Thousand Ten Project has made an impact because some of the people who have been helped in the past now volunteer to help others.

“It’s a pretty incredible thing,” he said.

If you go

What: Sixth annual Thousand Ten Project

When: Registration starts at 10 a.m., followed by a rally at 11 a.m. and lunch at 11:30 a.m. Service work will be from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and teams will return to the park afterwards for a closing ceremony and to share their stories.

Where: Begins and ends at Shields Park in Seymour

Cost: Volunteers are encouraged to bring $10 to help others

Information: Call Rick Wilson at 812-498-9806 or visit Thousand Ten “1010” Project on Facebook

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.