When Evan Singley started thinking about his 31st birthday, he knew he wanted to host a party and celebrate with family and friends. But instead of simply receiving gifts this year, he chose to give back; he planned a day of service at Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream (OCC).

“Few things bring me more joy than fellowshipping with my closest friends and family,” says Evan. “But I’ve realized over the years that the highest form of fellowship comes from engaging with fellow believers in purposeful, kingdom-driven missions. My hope for this year was to celebrate with those close to me in a way that would elevate our level of fellowship.”

Evan, who has financially supported Outreach for about a year, thought his birthday was the perfect time to start volunteering. “After being introduced to Outreach, my family was immediately touched and impressed by the incredible work it’s doing in our community,” he says. “Part of the motivation to put the service day together was to donate to Outreach in another way. I wanted to use my passions and do my part to introduce as many people to Outreach as possible.”

The birthday party was a huge success. Evan’s friends and family—just under 40 adults and 27 kids—cleaned, organized, inflated basketballs, replaced basketball nets and made Valentine’s bags for students and adults that OCC serves.

“The experience was great!” says Evan. “Everyone enjoyed serving in a tangible way alongside so many friends. There was a job for everyone but we made quick work of the list. It really is true that many hands make light work. The kids enjoyed putting the Valentines bags together and then we let them unleash some energy in the gym.”

Evan couldn’t have been happier with the event and has aspirations of making it an annual tradition. “I hope we did some good work and look forward to taking advantage of more opportunities in the future,” he says. “Additionally, I hope to do my part to grow the support base for Outreach.”

Evan Singley, left-center front (yellow shirt), with his friends and family.