|Commentator Glenn Beck. (REUTERS/Harrison McClary)
DALLAS, Texas -- Friday was a good day for charities here, and it was all thanks to conservative firebrand commentator Glenn Beck.
Some 30,000 volunteers, in town for his three-day event Restoring Love, fanned out across the city and offered free manpower to local churches and charities.
Throughout the day, armies of workers repaired wheelchairs, painted fences, patched walls and even tuned a piano for a nursing home that couldn't afford to do it on their own.
At Operation Blessing's new food distribution site in Grand Prairie, Texas, about 200 volunteers painted the new walls and assembled family-sized food packages for the hungry across the country.
"This is an exciting day. We're very excited to be involved with Glenn Beck, and Mercury One and this program that he's got," the faith-based charity's president Bill Horan told QMI Agency Friday. One of their tasks was to split up 2,000-lb bags of beans into family-sized portions.
"We just don't have the manpower to do that usually, and we couldn't afford to do that, so we really welcome the volunteers," Horan added.
Overall, some 200 organizations got a helping hand Friday, what the Restoring Love organizers called a "day of service."
According to Joe Kerry, president of the non-profit group Mercury One that was founded by Beck and is organizing the three-day event here, they hope the good work that was done Friday isn't a one-off affair.
"We don't want Restoring Love just to be an event. We don't want it to be something you attend, you feel good about it for a few days and then you go home," Kerry said. "We really want to make it the beginning of a movement where people realize that they have the answers and solutions. We want it to be something where people go back to their communities and get involved politically, get involved in faith matters, and get involved helping their neighbours."
Restoring Love, the third and final instalment of Beck's Restoring America series that included Restoring Honour and Restoring Courage in the past few years, culminates in a large rally Saturday night at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium with musical performances as well as with an appearance from Beck himself.
The Westboro Baptist Church -- made infamous for their anti-homosexual protests at the funerals of dead U.S. soldiers -- are planning to demonstrate outside Beck's rally Saturday.
Although Restoring Love is heavily faith-based, the radical church doesn't believe Beck, a Mormon, is religious enough.
According to the church's website, "Glenn Beck despises God, and he proudly says so."
"He is wholy (sic) incapable of seeing the Hand of God at work in this earth, and he flatly refuses to give the Glory of God's work, TO GOD! He worships Mr. Peanut," the statement on the website says.
Brian Lilley, who hosts Byline on Sun News Network, interviewed Beck last month. The video of the interview is available at sunnewsnetwork.ca.