SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Church was canceled this weekend for thousands of people in the North County. Instead of praying together, members were encouraged to volunteer together.
More than 7,000 volunteers from the North Coast Church spent the weekend doing volunteer work. This project is special in large part because of the violence this area has seen in the recent past.
Scraping, taping and painting were just some of the tasks thousands of volunteers took on during the weekend of service sponsored by North Coast Church.
"This is my first weekend of service and first painting experience. It's fun," said a volunteer.
This group focused its efforts on the Libby Lake area in Oceanside. Back in March, two teenagers were killed and two others injured during a shooting that rocked this community.
"It's just too bad. A lot of innocence lost. Just really somber," said Jason Simmons, who lives in the neighborhood.
He chose to volunteer here, hoping it will turn something negative into a positive.
"It starts with the physical. If you live here and if it looks good, you have a sense of pride," he said.
Kelcey Sass is the project manager. He coordinated everything from new computer tables at the nearby Libby Lake Community Center to freshly painted stairwells.
"As project manager, we take wish list...get project done," he said.
Those wish lists extended throughout the North County. Pictures show volunteers in other parts of the county during the two day event.
Organizers say the man hours put into it would total about $1.5 million in pay. Something, they enjoy doing for free no matter your skill level or your age.
"It doesn't matter how small you are. You can do it," said a young volunteer.
North Coast Church officials say it takes about a year to plan the weekend of service. The two day event is held every 18 months.