'I Heart Central Oregon' holds day of service

Celebration includes inspirational speaker Nick Vujicic

'I Heart Central Oregon' inspires thousands to serve

BEND, Ore. - Since 2008, the Heart Campaign has organized days of service all across Oregon. And Saturday, it was again Central Oregon's turn.   

Volunteers for the "I Heart Central Oregon" day of community service began their day at Westside Church.

People gathered in six cities all around Central Oregon, taking part in 60-plus events to help places such as schools and senior centers --.any need the community, mayors or local churches know of.

Those included cleaning, food drives and car washes.

"A lot of Americans live pretty selfish lifestyles, and it's just time that we live outside of ourselves," said Jay Smith, the Heart Campaign founder. "The first event, it was right after economic downturn, and things were pretty tough around here.

"It was just a way to go out and help, and now it's really gone beyond that, and that's really our heart."

Organizers hope the volunteers get a couple of things out of their service: the joy of serving and the joy of giving of themselves without anything in return.

And they hope people connect with the community and continue to serve their community through organizations like Boys and Girls Club and Habitat for Humanity.

Those volunteering their time with the Heart Campaign also got a special message from a well-known speaker.

Nick Vujicic, 29, was born without arms or legs.

It was the third time that Vujicic has come to Central Oregon. He comes every two years to share a message of hope.

Vujicic has spoken in 44 countries and works with bands and teams across the country. He recently spoke at the World Economic Forum.  

On Friday, La Pine High School students heard his message.

"To know that love is real, and that God has a plan for our life full of love," Vujicic said. "Some of us don't know what that love looks like, and I share as a kid I couldn't see that love either. But now, seeing it, I just want the world to know that there is a great purpose for our life."

Vujicic also promoted his new book called "Unstoppable," with a picture of him surfing on the cover.

Vujicic has plans next year to put out a musical album -- and then, in 2014 or 2015, have a talk show and a feature film.

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