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Giveaway events lauded

One of the most Christ-like things the American church can do is step up when people are hurting.

And hurting they are these days. By now, everyone has had their lives upended by the COVID-19 pandemic for more than five months. Many people know someone who has been sickened or who has died from the new illness. Many have lost their jobs or had their income reduced through temporary furloughs, fewer tips and commissions and the like. People are worried and anxious about so many things — what school will look like this year, what they would do if they were to become ill, perhaps even how they can go about getting back into the workforce at this unprecedented time.

However, a couple of local churches stepped up this weekend to provide help in their own unique ways, and we want to use this space to give them special recognition for their obedience to work in the community the way they have been called to do.

The Mount Suffolk held a gas giveaway at three gas stations on Godwin Boulevard. The first 40 cars in line got $20 worth of gas as well as a ticket for a free meal at nearby fast-food restaurants. The occupants of additional vehicles received just the free meals, and everyone got a goody bag with encouraging items. Children also received backpacks.

Also Saturday, Open Door Church held a clothing giveaway for local families. Even though Suffolk’s public schools won’t be returning to in-person learning this September, local children are still growing and in need of new clothes, and as the giveaway includes clothing for adults as well, it could help those who need new items to wear to work or to interviews.

Both churches have done these events pre-pandemic. The Mount held a scaled-down gas giveaway last year. Open Door Church has been doing the clothing giveaway for eight years now. But the fact that they maintained and even improved upon these events in the midst of the pandemic because they felt it was important that they continue is to be lauded.