Within the heart of every community, there are many unselfish individuals who will in some way find each other by serving the same motive and mission placed on their hearts. The following individuals from left to right pictured above are Leslie Magnus, Terry Trip, Jena Dersy, Bill Howel, Executive Director April Wilkes of St. Joe Community Foundation, Craig Trivett, Carol Bishop, and Dianna Moreland. Others not pictured like Pastor Campbell, Donna Howell, Frank Day and Susan Jean also support this valuable outreach to the community.
These volunteers and members from the First Baptist Church at the Bay are concerned about the welfare of others in the South Walton Community because this is who they are, and this is the way their hearts beat best. How many have found and remembered the great joy in serving others who may be going through a season and it seems impossible to meet their basic needs. Everyone has gone through some time when resources were limited and difficult to find. But thanks to God-loving good people, many can be helped weekly.
Just this past week, they set a record for serving 542 people and their families from Santa Rosa Beach, DeFuniak Springs, Paxton and North of the area, Freeport, Ponce De Leon, Bruce, and even some from lower Alabama. This past year, Hurricane Michael left destruction for neighbors in the community of Panama City, Callaway and in the Mexico Beach area. Many families had to relocate for living and working in the area. The help from The Open Door Food Pantry for many has been extremely valuable and much appreciated.
At The Open Door they place no restrictions on who may come for food, and whether it’s one or more times per week; it’s according to the need. No names or addresses are collected along with no personal information gathered for future use or reference. Some have said that during their worst times, this is when they are the most embarrassed, but they don’t need to fear, because all they will find is love and generosity here.
To help this mission fulfill it’s calling, the St. Joe Community Foundation donated a check for $38,000 to help cover expenses for building supplies, a back-up generator, food freezers, a loading dock garage, and whatever else would be needed to streamline their non-profit organization.
Some restaurants and food providers have made contributions to the cause also, especially when their food freezers needed to be emptied because of electrical problems. The Open Door has already given out 300,000 pounds of food and served thousands of people over the last year. The servants here continue in their efforts to feed the hungry and hope to make a difference in their daily struggle.
For more information, contact the Church at the Bay, or Pastor Campbell at (850) 685-0684 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer or make a contribution to The Open Door Food Pantry.
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