11th edition of Thousand Ten Project draws 100+ people

More than 100 people came together Saturday to go into the community and fulfill some of the needs of their neighbors.

The Thousand Ten Project is a community effort organized by The Alley each year with the goal of having 1,000 people each bring $10 to put back into the community for a total of $10,000.

Volunteers met at The Alley in Seymour and split off into groups, typically around 10 people with a budget of $100, to help people in need. The project was first conducted in 2011, and this is the 11th year it has happened.

Families impacted by the project were either nominated by someone else or requested help themselves.

Groups also could be assigned a family if they didn’t know anyone in particular to help.

Volunteers went to people’s homes about specific requests for what they might need and then put in the work and paid for necessities.

Throughout the day, volunteers were trimming trees, running to the grocery store and going to the gas station.

“We go to homes,” chief organizer Tina Fleetwood said. “We’ll go to grocery stores. We’ll visit gas stations. We’ll pay bills.”

She said while people volunteer year-round at The Alley, the Thousand Ten Project is meant to be its big event for the year.

Sara Bowling, an organizer for the Thousand Ten Project, said she first volunteered in 2015 and was hooked on helping out in the community after attending.

“It just made me realize I want to be a part of it,” she said.

Bowling said she likes the project because people are able to meet those they are helping in person and directly help their needs.

“The money that we bring in today is the money that we spend today, so it’s not going to anything else other than our mission,” she said.

Participating churches were Bunker Hill Christian Church, Central Christian Church, Cornerstone Community Church, First Baptist Church, Seymour Christian Church, Tampico Christian Church, Seymour First United Methodist Church and The Alley.

Anyone not affiliated with those churches was still put into a group as long as they brought $10, Bowling said.

Before going into the community, everyone received a Thousand Ten Project T-shirt and ate walking tacos while listening to a worship band.

Nathan Parker, pastor of worship and media for First Baptist Church, said he loves seeing the impact that the Thousand Ten Project has on the community, and it also made him realize there are needs in the community that people might not know about.

Randy DuLong, 51, of Brownstown said this was his first year participating. He said he got involved because he attends First Baptist Church and volunteers at The Alley. The plan for his day was to buy someone groceries, and he said he plans on coming back every year.

Tiffany Renee Otte, 27, of Seymour said this was her first Thousand Ten Project, and she was excited to volunteer to make the community a better place.

A group consisting of members of Seymour Christian Church and The Alley visited Brantley Bowers, 8, of Seymour and his family, who needed help with some bills and groceries after recently relocating from Columbus.

Over the course of about 15 minutes, the joyful and vibrant Bowers let the group know his favorite foods, which included chicken nuggets and Little Hug Fruit Barrels, and he likes going to Aldi because it’s a “comfortable little place.” He also said he likes math and football.

Volunteers said they were going to split off to different stores to pick up various things, including groceries, a grass-fed beef from Aldi that the family liked and a math workbook for Bowers.

A testimony night will be hosted Friday at The Alley, 505 Community Drive, Seymour, where volunteers will share their Thousand Ten Project experiences from this year.