Mission to Hanover was started five years ago by Beaverdam Baptist Church as a mission to Beaverdam where the congregation began assisting local underprivileged, elderly and handicapped folks with winterization projects, spring cleaning, and home repair projects. Though the projects occur only twice a year, the preparation for each project makes this a year-round event. The church began to brainstorm about how we could expand the project to reach more and more folks.
On November 11, 2006, the church held its first annual Mission to Hanover which reached out to all local Christian churches and enlisted 31 churches that helped over 200 people with 135 home repairs and winterization projects. The church then began working on Mission to Hanover in June and created a manual with step-by step instructions on how to make this project successful in addition to a DVD to get the congregation engaged and a CD with all the forms and marketing materials that would be needed to make the event a huge success within the community. Four meetings were held for local churches to come and ask questions and obtain information. A newsletter was created and sent out via internet weekly with updates, FAQs and tips to help keep everyone engaged, motivated and informed. In addition, the Hanover Sheriff's Office and Hanover Fire Departments agreed to assist with assessing selected homes for safety concerns. Smoke detectors were installed and homeowners were instructed on the safest escape route in the event of an emergency.
The Hanover County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to make the second Saturday of every November an official Mission to Hanover Day. This was done in an attempt to recruit more participation and make the project more widely known and accredited. Projects that are done to homes include covering windows with plastic for the Winter months, wrapping pipes, raking leaves, building ramps for the handicapped, siding homes, roofing, replacing windows, repairing rotten boards and stairs and many other miscellaneous home repairs. The church has the assistance of local businesses like tree services, plumbers and contractors who come out and assist with removing trees, fixing problems with leaks and wells and giving advice about how to complete jobs the most efficient and economical way possible.
Beaverdam Baptist goes back in the Spring and removes the plastic and wrapping on pipes and continues with projects that are phased out because of money and time restraints. The goal next year is to assist 275 homes and to engage 75 area churches. What is most appreciated about this project is the teamwork among different denominations. Church members lay down their differences and proclaim the command to "love our neighbors as ourselves" and work together to make a difference in people’s lives. Friendships and lifelong relationships are created through this event as well as the continued desire to assist homeowners in need. It's a personal connection that makes all the difference. Local businesses assisted with water bottles for volunteers, coupons for sandwiches and advertising for the event. A huge celebration was arranged at the local high school for all volunteers to come and eat, sing and celebrate.