Just two weeks after moving to Hoboken last year, Courtney signed up for 1Day, a community service event that takes place across the city. She was eager to learn more about Hoboken Grace and meet new people.
“What better way to get your feet into church and then go and serve the community?” she said. “I just kind of showed up and didn’t know what to expect, but thought that it would be a great opportunity to get to know people.”
She spent the day lending a hand at Hoboken High School, helping prep the auditorium for the upcoming school year. In addition to meeting new people that day, Courtney decided she’d continue to attend Hoboken Grace. Not long after, she began serving with Grace Kids.
“I haven’t regretted it since,” said Courtney, who’s planning to help out wherever she’s needed at this year’s event.
Saturday, Sept. 24 marks the sixth annual 1Day Hoboken. The event begins at 10 a.m. at Church Square Park, where teams will split up to work on projects across town, then meet up at an after-party a few hours later.
Thirty projects are planned for this year’s event, including the ambitious task of packaging 10,000 meals in two hours at 301 Garden St. Those meals will be distributed to students across Hudson County with the help of the organization Generosity Feeds.
“The exciting thing about those meals is that they stay within Hudson County and go home with students and families who live in our own neighborhood,” said Laura, who has been attending 1Day for five years and organizing it for four.
Due to the massive scope of the project, dozens of volunteers will be needed next Friday night just to set up at 301 Garden. And more than 100 volunteers will be needed during 1Day to package the meals.
Other projects that day will benefit In Jesus’ Name Charities, The Boys and Girls Club, the Hoboken Homeless Shelter and other organizations. There will also be service opportunities for families and younger children, including projects at parks across the city.
“Many of [these projects] really depend on us to do this every year,” said Laura. “We’ve really developed a relationship with these organizations.”
Last year’s event drew more than 200 people, and Laura expects an even larger turnout this year. In fact, the after-party was moved to House of Que to accommodate the event’s growing popularity.
Breann, who’s also organizing the event this year, can attest to that growing popularity. She first attended 1Day last year, as a way to get more involved in the community. She has been going to Hoboken Grace ever since and is looking forward to participating once again. She’s been helping plan the event for the past few months.
“It’s nostalgic, in a way,” she said. “It’s kind of exciting to come in as a completely outside person and now be immersed in it.”
Anyone interested in attending can sign up online at hobokengrace.com/1day.