Volunteers from Leawood church help restore Troost Elementary

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s a simple story of neighbors helping neighbors.

Volunteers from a Johnson County Church spent last week volunteering their time at an inner city school.

Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., claims over 19,000 members, many of whom live an affluent lifestyle. The church is making a concentrated effort this week to help less fortunate schools. In doing so, church leaders are attracting volunteers of all kinds, including football players from another local school.

Hard work gets harder in the heat, but these volunteers don’t mind.

Blue Valley West High School’s entire football team heard the call for help. They’re one of many groups helping at Troost Elementary School, as part of a program called Bless the School, which is managed by Church of the Resurrection.

All week long, volunteers will visit this inner-city school, and give their time to paint, landscape and clean up this learning center, which calls a less-fortunate neighborhood in east Kansas City home.

“One of the most important things is learning to be a productive member of your community,” Scott Wright, Blue Valley West Football Coach, said.

Wright has been the school’s head coach for 14 years. He believes service to others is the path to building better people.

“The only way you can be successful is having a serving heart and being willing to say ‘I am not the guy. I am a guy who does whatever I can do to make this better,’ Wright said.

“Coach says he wants us to have a feeling of togetherness,” Blue Valley West Linebacker Andy Butts said. “I feel like doing hard work like this in the heat can bring a team together… And help people out as well.”

Blake Stanwood isn’t only employed by Church of the Resurrection. He’s a former Jaguar football player in his own right, and helped these current athletes get involved in the church’s efforts. Stanwood knows this an at-risk neighborhood that could use the support.

“A lot of these guys have never been to this neighborhood, and they live 35 minutes away,” Stanwood said. “To have the shock and awe, and maybe a little discomfort, is a very cool thing.”

“The fact that we can come help this community is a great thing,” Wright added.

Church of the Resurrection’s Bless the School Program is scheduled to continue all week, with an expected 800 volunteers giving their time.

Learn more about Church of the Resurrection’s Bless the School program here.

Follow reporter Sean McDowell via his FOX 4 Facebook page.

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