Local group off to Vancouver as Olympic volunteers

February 14, 2010 12:42:00 AM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


While most of us will settle for watching the Winter Olympics on our televisions, Fairview Baptist Church associate minister Tommy Gillon and a group of volunteers from Columbus are in the center of the action in Vancouver. 


The 12 individuals -- 11 members of Fairview Church and one from Mt. Vernon Church -- flew to Las Vegas Wednesday, meeting up with other volunteers before flying on to British Columbia. 


"We''ll basically be performing acts of kindness for the community ... serving coffee and hot chocolate for people from all over the world," said Gillon Wednesday, by cell phone en route. "We''ll also be helping hand out about 40,000 hospitality bags area churches have put together, with socks, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other items in them." 


After an orientation Thursday, the volunteers began five days of service to the Olympic community. The singular experience will entail a bit of roughing-it.  


"We''re staying at the Salvation Army church, sleeping on the floor there," Gillon said.  


The Columbus contingent is working in conjunction with the North American Mission Board. 


They will serve at the Winter Olympics through Tuesday, before returning to the less frigid South.

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.