Church group aims to help feed hungry, improve city’s appearance

The AIM (Auxiliary In Ministry) convention, part of the Church of God in Christ, announced its plans to give back to the community Tuesday morning at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

“We want to make an impact, and revitalize Pine Bluff,” said Fred Lee, a member of the church’s mission group.

The AIM convention had set a commitment to give 3,000 cans of food each to the Salvation Army and Neighbor to Neighbor, and representatives of both organizations expressed their appreciation.

“We thank you for your generosity,” said John Lawson of Neighbor to Neighbor. “In the five months of 2013 we have served 18,874 lunches, 3,956 senior meals and 159 emergency meals to families, and with your help we can continue to do this work.”

Salvation Army Captain David Robinson had similar words for the church members.

“We have seen an increase in the people with need and bless you for your work,” Robinson told the crowd of more than 100.

AIM members plan to volunteer their time to mow yards, repair damaged homes and clean neighborhoods in an effort to improve the city’s appearance. Those plans were announced in coordination with the mayor’s office.

“The mayor’s first platform is the image of Pine Bluff, and with the help of AIM and its members we will get closer to that goal,” said Lanette Frazier, special projects coordinator for Mayor Debe Hollingsworth. “We are proud of all of you for coming to Pine Bluff and thank God you’re here.”

The convention will continue for the rest of the week but members will continue to work on yards and homes in the city after the convention is over, according to a spokeswoman for the group.