“I’ve seen firsthand how being the hands and feet of Christ can affect a community for good.” –Stefi Massey
God’s doing incredible things through 2ndSaturday volunteer leaders Taylor and Stefi Massey, a young Plano couple investing their heart and hands in the community transformation happening in South Dallas. They’ve been making an impact on Dallas’ poorest neighborhoods with 2ndSaturday since before they were married. Taylor met Stefi and became friends while studying engineering and served together at One28, a college ministry at SMU. But it was when Taylor gave her his coat while volunteering with a 2ndSaturday partner at a rainy home construction site that Stefi noticed that, “There is something to this guy…”
The Masseys were introduced to 2ndSaturday when One28 arranged for a group of students to volunteer together one weekend. The experience and the relationships they began to build stuck with them.
“Even when One28 didn’t schedule a group for 2ndSaturday, we would get friends to go. Interacting with the volunteers and homeowners continued to draw us back,” said Taylor.
“While I love mission work abroad, I also love the idea that you can engage in the same sort of mission locally, right here in Dallas,” said Stefi.
As they continued to serve with 2ndSaturday, Taylor and Stefi fell in love with one South Dallas neighborhood in particular. ‘Bonton’ is a Dallas community whose name is derived from the phrase “Let the good times roll” in French (“Laissez les bons temps rouler”); historically, its residents have often fallen on hard times. The need for opportunity has given rise to the presence of drugs, prostitution and gangs, and those in the community without transportation live over an hour from a legitimate grocery store. But 2ndSaturday’s volunteers and incredible partners are seeing transformation begin to occur.
2ndSaturday partners with the senior-limited-income-disabled community to restore damaged properties for those without the means to do so themselves, and provides opportunities to employ and empower Dallas’ at-risk men in the redemption of neighborhoods they may have once preyed upon. On the second Saturday of every month, volunteers from across the metroplex gather and then scatter to different sites to serve under-resourced homeowners in West and South Dallas.
“It’s so cool to see God at work there. When we went and saw how awesome the community is and what’s happening, we realized that we don’t want to be anywhere else. We’ve gotten to have great conversations, and I know we can do a lot of special things there,” Taylor said.
They’re becoming regulars in Bonton, and the neighborhood is noticing. Once, Taylor’s truck broke down as he was buying supplies while Stefi was stuck in Bonton with a trailer full of equipment. To make sure the trailer didn’t “walk off”, a resident let Stefi hide it in his backyard while the resident’s friend picked up Taylor and towed his car from South Dallas to Plano. “It’s always cool to see the community we’re trying to help reach out and help us.”
As Taylor and Stefi continue to invest their time and marriage together with 2ndSaturday’s work in Dallas’ poorest communities and Bonton, they dream of seeing even greater growth and impact in the days to come.
“I see us moving into more neighborhoods like Bonton, discipling more at-risk men and helping them take next-steps in different ways as the needs change.”
Before getting married 3 years ago, the Masseys were given some great advice.
“If you’re going to serve, have a place where you serve together.”
Want to be a part of the extraordinary things happening through ordinary folks in neighborhoods across Dallas? Come serve with us at one of 2ndSaturday’s monthly events or support a project in an under-resourced neighborhood. Email firstname.lastname@example.org