Easter often is viewed as a time of renewal, and the congregation at Bethlehem Apostolic Temple hopes to be a part of that for area families in need by lending a helping hand.
Church members will give away food and other items from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at its fellowship hall, located next door to the 330 N. Main St. Church.
Perhaps, according to their pastor, the Rev. Darrell Cummings, their efforts will provide families the opportunity to sit down together Sunday for Easter dinner who otherwise wouldn't have that chance.
Photo by Ian Hicks
Mary Rancher, left, the Rev. Darrell Cummings and Latisha Turner prepare for Bethlehem Apostolic Temple’s Easter food giveaway, set for Saturday in North Wheeling.
"Maybe they can renew their hope as a family, renew their hope in God, renew their hope in life," Cummings said. "Sometimes a meal can mean so much."
Volunteers have been working through much of this week to assemble and organize between $6,000 and $7,000 worth of items - enough to help about 500 families, according to Cummings.
If recent history is any indication, they will need every bit of it to meet the demand, as their last major food giveaway around Christmas saw more than 600 line up for all the makings of a holiday meal.
Items will be distributed on a first come, first served basis, and visitors are asked to bring their own box or bag.
Items available will include milk, juice, canned food, baked goods and possibly turkeys and hams. There also will be some clothing and children's items on hand, Cummings noted.
The church requires no proof of income and doesn't ask questions of those who come seeking help - mainly, Cummings said, because things aren't always as they seem.
"Just because somebody has a nice car doesn't mean they didn't lose their job on Friday," he said. "We don't judge. I'm sure some people do abuse it, but that's between them and God."