By Pastor Doug Kempton, Grace Community Church in Detroit, Michigan
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential negative impact on our community, Grace Community Church in Detroit, Michigan, has formed a partnership with a local restaurant to provide free takeout meals to those who need it most.
Grace contributed $6,000 of seed money to Garrido’s Bistro in Grosse Pointe Woods to kick off a pay-it-forward campaign. Our hope was to get an effort rolling that would help small businesses flourish, bless people with a free first-rate meal, and give others an opportunity to rally for the cause.
We promoted this initiative through social media and other platforms. We started with inviting people to order a meal from Garrido’s or any other local restaurant and pay double in order to provide a free meal for someone else. Then we followed with getting the word out that anyone in the community who is frontline medical personnel, a senior citizen, unemployed due to the crisis, immunocompromised, or quarantined could contact Garrido’s for a free meal. Volunteers from our church are on call to make personal deliveries.
The response has been enthusiastic on all fronts. People are buying meals and paying it forward – stretching our starter funds even further. Tired hospital personnel, overwhelmed clinic staffs, and families in need have been enjoying free meals with a note from Grace attached as a heartfelt expression of a community’s gratitude. And Garrido’s doors remain open as a reminder that we are all in this together.