Gateway volunteers show love by sharing with others
IMLAY CITY — Hundreds of local residents gathered early Thursday, Aug. 1, for Gateway Assembly Church’s “Grocery Giveaway” at Belle Valley Plaza.
The food giveaway represented one of four community support efforts sponsored by Gateway members from July 30-Aug. 3, in connection with the church’s “This Heart Loves Week” campaign.
From 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30, Gateway volunteers of all ages treated local motorists to discounted and free gasoline at the Imlay City Quickmart station at Van Dyke and Capac Rd. (M-21).
This Heart Loves Week continued on Saturday, Aug. 3 with a “Community Giveback” celebration from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Gateway Assembly Campus at 2796 S. Van Dyke Rd.
Attendees on Saturday could take advantage of free vehicle inspections, car washes, oil changes, haircuts, backpacks for students, health checkups, eye exams and sports physicals, a clothing room, car show, petting zoo, inflatables, a video game trailer and various other giveaways.
This Heart Loves Week culminated with “Friends Day” at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4, during which visitors were provided a gift, free breakfast and opportunity to experience an interactive service.
Among those who stood in line on Thursday to receive food items was Alice Revell of Imlay City, who expressed appreciation to Gateway volunteers for helping fill a continuing need in the community.
“I think this is a great idea and a very good way of supporting the community,” Revell said. “Many don’t realize that there are still so many people who can use help in this economy.”
Imlay City resident Kelly Cramer stood in line with her daughter and two grandchildren—one a newborn infant.
“A program like this can be very helpful to young families that are working hard and still struggling to make ends meet,” she said. “This is helpful and meaningful to them and to others.”
Gateway Pastor Paul Wampler, who helped coordinate the 2019 This Heart Loves Week, was pleased with the large turnout for the food giveaway.
“We realize there is need in the community,” said Wampler, “and we are in a position to help fill that need.”
“This Heart Loves is really the vision of lead pastor, Jeff Krist,” he said. “It’s his goal to reach out to our members to provide tangible help and assistance for those who need it.”
Wampler said those efforts have translated to raising nearly $100,000 from Gateway members to share and disperse throughout the local community.
“The most important thing is to show people the goodness of God—that God loves all of us and that he is always with us.”
Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.