Great Church Giveaway continues success
By Staff Reports
Published in News on December 24, 2009 1:46 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- The Mount Olive First United Methodist Church followed up its successful Great Church Giveaway of last month on Dec. 19 with a food giveaway.
The giveaways are based on Luke 3:11: "If you have two coats, give one away."
Approximately 100 church members and volunteers from other community organizations and churches participated in the work and/or gave contributions to make the two giveaway days possible, said coordinator Barbara Kornegay.
More than 300 adults and numerous children came to each giveaway, one in November and one in December. Adults and children benefited from the two giveaways of clothing, school supplies, furniture and appliances, toys and food, she said.
"The spirit of giving has definitely been alive at First United Methodist Church of Mount Olive -- and throughout the surrounding community," Mrs. Kornegay said.
Church members planned the giveaway after hearing about it through Methodist churches. Church members researched the idea and found that in May of 2009 a number of churches nationwide had started the "Great Church Giveaway."
"So we were able to download many ideas and a 'battle plan' giving us suggestions about how to set up tables, arrange all the toys and clothing into categories, and publicize our first giveaway," Ms. Kornegay said. "We made our announcements about the event to encourage people to clean out their closets and cupboards of new and slightly used items. Social services, health departments and housing authorities, as well as the local newspapers, aided us in getting the word out to families in need. We also had our fliers translated into Spanish. The response was incredible, and our volunteers worked a full week to get ready."
Churches and community members from Wayne, Duplin and Sampson counties donated clothing, toys, food, books, school supplies and food which was given away to the many needy families who came through the church doors on Nov. 21.
"We had prepared for about 200 people; we were amazed that over 300 adults and many children passed though our doors," she said. "Food disappeared first. And we heard stories from families who wanted to know where they might get food. Parents told us about being out of work or having to work 2-3 part time jobs and still not being able to afford enough food. These occurrences were numerous and made us appreciate that we were able to help a little bit, but we know that we had to do more.
"So our membership decided that we needed to hold another giveaway focusing on food. We asked the membership and community to come forward again, and they did not fail us. Canned goods, staples and cash donations appeared from churches, civic groups and individuals. Andy's Foundation kicked off the fundraising with a large check."
Mayor Ray McDonald Sr. approached Piggly Wiggly owner Moses King who agreed to help the church get together enough food to feed at least 300 families.
"He generously sold us bread, rice, beans, canned meat, soup, flour and sugar, juice and other staples that would nourish a family for at least a week at his cost plus transportation," she said.
Pet Milk Company of Goldsboro provided more than 300 quarts of milk at cost and delivered it to the door on the day of the event so that it was fresh for the giveaway.
"Our fellowship hall was filled with pallets and small packages of food on Friday, Dec. 18," Mrs. Kornegay said. "On Saturday, Dec. 19 at 8 a.m., our volunteers, many of whom had worked all week to get ready for the event, were at their stations to meet the crowd. Before we opened our doors, we all joined hands and Dr. Dennis Draper, our minister, led us in a prayer of thanksgiving.
"When we opened the doors, each person was given a grocery bag, and it was filled by our volunteers who dropped in beans, pasta, soup, canned fruit and veggies, flour and sugar, tuna and canned meat, juice, a quart of fresh milk and a loaf of bread."