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Our
Vision

 

Our vision is to love our cities so that our cities will thrive!

Our
Mission

Our mission is to help cities lead city-wide volunteer days, facilitate city-wide initiatives and become city-wide conveners while networking and collaborating with fellow city leaders.

Our
Mission

Our Story

Love Our Cities began out of the success of Love Modesto. Love Modesto started in 2007 at Big Valley Grace Community Church in Modesto, California with two questions:

  1. Why is our city on lists of the “worst cities in America”?
  2. If our church were to suddenly disappear from the Modesto area, would anyone even care or notice?

We did not know the answers to these questions, but we knew we were called to love Modesto.

With a lot of dreaming and planning came our first Love Modesto on March 7, 2009. We were hoping for 100 people and more than 1,200 people showed up to love our city in practical ways. We’ve done this every year since then and have helped more than 100 cities do the same. ​

​Over 239,000 people have been involved … young, old, abled, disabled; people from a church or no church at all. Around 1 million volunteer hours have been donated – this is over $32 million dollars in service (independentsector.org) that we’ve given to our communities!

At these community-wide volunteer days, people engage in a variety of projects, including appreciating public servants, visiting convalescent homes, donating blood, building a house with Habitat for Humanity, and working in city parks and schools, among other opportunities.​

After the first couple of years of these volunteer days, we were realizing that more sustainable solutions were needed in order to see our cities transformed.  ​

​Our efforts evolved from beyond a day to championing ongoing volunteerism, collaboration among leaders and initiating the efforts of Love Our Neighbors, Love Our Schools, Love Our Kids and Love Our Seniors.​

So many amazing stories have emerged from Love Our Cities, but perhaps the greatest stories are of the thousands who continue to volunteer regularly with organizations and areas they served. This is our hope and prayer…renewed pride in our cities, ongoing volunteerism and communities transformed.

 

  • “On behalf of President Biden and the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, greetings to all who are participating in Love Our Cities events throughout the nation. Volunteerism is a hallmark of American society. Since the days of our nation’s founding, ordinary citizens have achieved extraordinary things through voluntary efforts. Programs like “Love Our Cities” touch thousands of lives and inspire Americans to serve and give back to their communities. Thank you for your dedication to the cities you reach."”

    Melissa Rogers - Executive Director, White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  • “Many ask the question: “How do we provide opportunities for people who want to serve the greater good of their community?” Love Our Cities is a way bring neighbors from various walks of life together to serve together in very tangible ways. It breaks down barriers between individuals, churches, organizations and institutions and lets people see that together we can make a difference. The relationships that are being built strengthen the fabric of our communities and the work that is getting done.”

    Monika Grasley - Winton, CA
  • “Love our Cities has been such a great catalyst for good in our various cities. From the first day I read about this movement I felt a strong compelling connection and wanted to bring it to my city and North Orange County as well. It works, mobilizing the faith community in partnership with city government, local businesses, public and private schools, and local residents is genius.”

    Jay Williams - Fullerton, CA
  • “We first connected with Love Our Cities in 2018. We had the unique problem of not having a volunteer management platform that was robust enough for our growing CityServe Day. We had thousands of people wanting to serve Colorado Springs and we couldn’t find a volunteer platform that allowed us to steward the involvement of that many volunteers well. That’s when we found Love Our Cities. They had built a volunteer platform for their own day of service that boasted many of the elements that we were looking for, and they understood the work that we were doing. They understood the heart of city transformation. While we initially connected about their volunteer management platform, we have been encouraged to be a part of the larger movement of leaders, churches, and nonprofits connected to Love Our Cities. We also share the same struggles and find ways to encourage and sharpen each other in a journey that is still finding its legs. The team at Love Our Cities has advocated for our movement and has always been a phone call away if we needed any additional support.”

    Stu Davis - Colorado Springs, CO
  • “As a new leader for Love Lodi in 2015 having the support and structure from Love Our Cities made all the difference for us. Love Lodi turned out to be a huge success in serving the needs of our city and in bringing people, especially churches, together under the common goal of love. Love Our Cities helped give us the foundation we needed and we look forward to many more years of working together.”

    Glen Barnes - Lodi, CA
  • “I’m very impressed with Love Our Cities. It is well thought out and organized. It’s simple goal of meeting needs and impacting lives by “doing and loving” is what makes this an amazing movement that everyone should be a part of.”

    Monique Erisman - Waterford, CA
  • “We were also introduced to Love Our Cities and encouraged to hear about the long, multi-year track record of successful events that they’d pioneered. The resources and templates within the Love Our Cities framework were immensely useful in ramping up the plans for our first City-Wide Volunteer Day. The tried & true examples of other cities who are also part of the network of community serve days was quite helpful in the initial launch of this first event. Being able to catalog projects, organize volunteer needs, and provide for online signups made the execution and experience of the event very smooth.”

    Brad Squires - Sacramento, CA
  • “It has been inspiring to see the outpouring of volunteerism spread throughout our city. Love Modesto brings together thousands of people to serve our community in practical ways. As a state assembly member and a resident of Modesto, I am grateful to everyone who has given their time, energy, and resources to truly minister to and Love Modesto.”

    Kristen Olsen - Former California State Assembly Member
  • “Love Fullerton brings together members of our community from all walks of life. Whether we represent businesses, churches, non-profits, or any other group, Love Fullerton is a collaborative effort that serves as a catalyst to spread kindness, meet the needs of our neighbors, and touch lives each and every day. Thank you for making a difference!”

    Young Kim - California State Assembly Member
  • “Love Ceres is a tremendous event that brings the community together and unites us in a common goal – the beautification of our city. The community involvement and outstanding participation is a testimony to how the citizens care about this community. I am truly thankful for all the volunteers that have donated time and hard work.”

    Chris Vierra - Former Mayor of Ceres, CA
  • “Love Modesto is the essence of ‘love thy neighbor’ – I say thank you to all the citizens that turned out to help make Modesto a better place to live.”

    Gerrad Marsh - Former Mayor of Modesto, CA
  • “As we unite for Love Waterford, we want to promote a cohesive, safe, prosperous and happy place to live. A community where citizens, businesses, group organizations, and city leaders come out to show support for one another. The Love Waterford event has created opportunities to develop long term relationships, as new community members are welcome to join and mingle with established community members. Seeing the local businesses, families, and youth join this City Day as we all work hard and in harmony to beautify our community makes me feel indebted to my Waterfordians.”

    Jose M. Aldaco - Mayor of Waterford, CA