Welcoming Guests to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Cherry Blossom Festival

As the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s beautiful cherry blossom trees glistened in the sunlight, budding with new life, thousands of people came to enjoy the garden’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival. To ensure a pleasant and comfortable experience, World Mission Society Church of God volunteers helped with the admissions process.

About 100 Church of God members volunteered at Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sukura Matsuri, Japanese for Cherry Blossom Festival. Volunteers directed guests to the correct lines to purchase tickets and answered various questions.

“It’s always good when people are here greeting people and giving them information,” said Zach Gold, a member of the admissions department. “It’s really important to make sure that the line operates smoothly. Without them [Church of God volunteers], it’s just me and three of my co-workers.”

Zach Gold mentioned that they were expecting more than 40,000 people to attend the Cherry Blossom Festival that day. Without the World Mission Society Church of God’s involvement, line control and guest admission would have been much more difficult for the everyday staff members to handle. As a result, volunteers helped guests have a positive and stress-free experience.

“This is a really huge event and so many people are out here,” said volunteer Tina Renick. “We wanted to volunteer because we have done a lot of community service and volunteer events in New Jersey, but this is one of the first events we were able to do in Brooklyn specifically, and be more a part of the New York City community.”

As the guests entered the park, Church of God volunteers were the first ones to greet them with smiles. The warm welcome set the tone for an enjoyable rest of the day. Even with the sun beaming down on them, the volunteers worked joyfully during the festival, handing out pamphlets and maps so the guests could seamlessly find their way around the park.

“Thank you very much for all your help today,” Jeanine Poggioli, manager of Visitor Services, said to the volunteers. “We really appreciate it. Keep those smiles going.”

Staying true to Heavenly Mother’s teaching to be joyful always, keeping those smiles going is exactly what the members of the Church of God plan to do. With this being the latest installation to the World Mission Society Church of God’s Smile Campaign, to bring wellness and happiness to the community, the members hope this will be the first of many volunteer efforts in the Brooklyn area.