For the members of Cornerstone Church in Anniston, February — the month of love — is a time to serve others. The church runs a ministry called T.A.G. (Touch and Give) that puts church members into the community doing random acts of kindness.
“Many of them are small things, but a lot of them turn into big things that change people’s lives,” said Bradley Cox, media director at Cornerstone.
From repairing homes to bringing diapers to a young family, Cox said the work is a blessing to both the giver and receiver. It’s about creating an atmosphere of giving, not receiving.
The program is broken into three categories; the community, the church itself and children. Church members take some time throughout the month to complete random acts of kindness in all three, whether it be driving to a business to deliver lunch, stopping by a church member’s house to help with yardwork, or donating money to buy clothes for children in need.
A basket of small red tokens printed with the words “random acts of kindness” is passed around the church. Tokens are given to the recipients of the random acts, with the expectation that they’ll pass the kindness on to someone else.
This year, the church bought a large white van that they call the TAG-mobile. Around 120 people piled into their cars and the van, and drove around the community doing good works.
At one home, a mother with a 2-month-old in her arms raked leaves, while her two older children picked up branches.
At another, a blind man unable to do yardwork had it done for him.
A young child sleeping in a plywood room off of a mobile home — rainwater seeping through cracks in the roof — now has a dry place to stay after church members made repairs.
Sharon Cox and her husband, Michael, pastor the church. Times are tough, Sharon said, and there is no reason for church members to act as if they aren’t.
“If they’re having a hard time, we want to know that,” she said. “And then realize that there are people in the community that need our help, and so that’s what we do. We want to be a church that reaches out.”
Sometimes the smallest of things have the biggest impact.
Keith McFall recalls a trip his wife took to the home of a woman with cancer. The woman has been confined to her home for some time, and Keith’s wife, a hairdresser, spent time fixing her hair.
“I’m sure it made her feel beautiful,” McFall said, “just to have somebody come in and do something like that, that you don’t even know.”