LA FERIA — Cindy Moore knows how to handle a power saw.
Once a month, the retired math teacher is working alongside other volunteers from her church, building a wheelchair ramp for someone in need.
Moore chairs the outreach committee at First United Methodist Church in La Feria.
But every second Saturday of the month, she’s not out in the field supervising. She’s sawing wood and hammering nails.
The wheelchair ramp project is just one of many outreach services by church volunteers, which include distributing food and clothing for children in need.
Moore, 58, can be found right in the middle of it all. Her passion for volunteering comes from her faith in God and her strong belief that everyone can contribute something to the greater good of the community.
“We can’t all build a hospital wing. But we can all do something to help somebody else who is less fortunate than we are,” she said.
“They might not be able to lead the project, but they can do something.”
Moore and her husband, Alan Moore, both went to school in Bandera. Her father, Howard Jack, was a civilian worker at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio.
It was from her dad that she learned to be handy with tools.
“My sister wanted to clean. I wasn’t into cleaning, so I was outside help,” she said with a chuckle.
“My dad always had a project going on on the weekends and I would help him … building a carport, reroofing the house.
“The only day I ever skipped school was the day I helped him reroof the house. It was fun.”
She and her husband also are both graduates of Texas A&M. They ended up in the Valley when her husband was transferred here in his job with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service.
She took a job at La Feria High School, eventually retiring after 29 years as a math teacher.
She began volunteering because she saw the need.
“I really have a heart for helping other people,” she said. “There’s always a need. Especially here, you see so many people in need.”
The church outreach volunteers aim to build a wheelchair ramp for someone in need once a month.
“It’s for someone who is struggling with their mobility and cannot afford to have a ramp put in,” she said.
They also have a food backpack ministry; it’s part of their “Serve Our Schools” program. The church works with the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley to provide food for elementary school children to take home for weekends.
“On Fridays, the counselors put the food in the kids’ backpacks to take home, for the ones that don’t have enough to eat on the weekend,” she said.
They also work with school nurses to provide tennis shoes, socks and underwear for children in need.
She is particularly happy about that project because it involves a partnership between her church and three others in La Feria: First Baptist, New Hope Presbyterian and St. Francis Xavier.
“We’ve been trying to work together,” she said.
“We have a small town and alone you might not be able to do a lot. But together, we can pool our resources and get quite a bit done.”
She says others can always find ways to get involved with their community.
“The Bible verse says, what you do for the least of these, you do for Me,” she said.
“The flip side of that is, what you fail to do for the least of these, you fail to do for Me.”