Community Church members enjoy volunteering at annual OPC Easter event
Putting out 9,000-plus eggs is a big job, even for the Easter Bunny who visits Oxford for the annual Oxford Park Commission Easter Egg Hunt at FNC Park.
To help him, and the folks at OPC, members of the Community Church of Oxford have volunteered at the egg hunt for the past three years.
It’s what their church does, said member Jake Parmer.
“It’s a great platform for the church to show what church is all about,” Parmer said. “We go out there as a church and show people it’s all about helping others.”
The Community Church holds its services at Lafayette Middle School. The church is often referred to as a “church in a box,” by its pastor, Fish Robinson, since they set up each Sunday morning before church and then break it down afterward.
“We don’t want the money we have going toward having to pay for a building,” Parmer said. “We would rather use it out in the community.”
Parmer, his wife, Misty and their two daughters, Anna and Leah, 11 and 8 years old, have volunteered at the Easter Egg Hunt for the past two years. This will be their third year helping out as a family.
“It takes 45 minutes to an hour to get all the eggs out, and then it’s over in 3 minutes,” Parmer said with a chuckle. “But to see that many children from our community participating shows the need for more community events like this.”
The Easter Egg Hunt and Touch-a-Truck Event will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at FNC Park inside the Robert ‘Pat’ Patterson Quad. Age groups are 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10. There will be prize eggs hidden for each age group that can be redeemed at the concession stand. Parking fills up quickly, and the egg hunt will begin at exactly 10 a.m., so those planned to attend are encouraged to arrive early.
The Easter Bunny will hang around after the hunt for families to get a photo of him with their children.
Parmer usually stands close to the entrance to help answer questions or direct people to their appropriate field while Misty often helps out in one of the fields, making sure kids don’t jump the line before the hunt starts. The girls will help direct other children to the right field for their age group.
“They are already showing a love for helping people,” Parmer said of the girls. “They get that through our church. It’s something very neat to watch.”
The church hopes to have about 40 people at FNC Park Saturday morning. Some will help spread out the eggs; some will work in the fields while others will help at the Touch-a-Truck event that follows the egg hunt.
Deshone and Kylie Thompson also volunteer each year at the event with their two children, Nicholas, 11 and Morgan, 9.
“One of the core values at Community Church is helping and serving our community, and we do that by volunteering at events like this one,” Deshone Thompson said.
Thompson often helps at the Touch-a-Truck part of the event, assisting children to climb up onto large vehicles like fire trucks and dump trucks.
“Last year there was a little boy who learned how to blow the air horn on one of the big trucks, and it just made his day,” Thompson said. “When a kid gets to do something like that, something they may not have had the chance to do before, it’s great to see the excitement on their faces.”
Thompson said he also enjoys visiting with people in his community that he may not see at other times throughout the year.
“It’s not just a chance to serve people, but get to meet new people, see old friends I haven’t seen in a long time and build new relationships,” he said.