First Baptist holds annual Fall Operation giveaway

First Baptist holds annual Fall Operation giveaway
November 19
00:00 2015

In Photo: Andrea Bush and Judy Felder

By Timothy Ramsey 

For The Chronicle

With Jack Frost nipping at their heels and winter right around the corner, the congregation of First Baptist Church at 700 N Highland Ave. had their Fall Operation in which they gave away winter clothes, blankets, and small household items to the community and homeless.

This is the eighth year the church has held its Fall Operation. They also have a Spring Operation in which they go out into the community to assist the locals.  All of the items that were given away were either purchased or donated from the members of First Baptist. 

“What they are doing for the homeless is very important since I’m not from around here, and I appreciate everything they are doing for me,” said “Bruce,” a homeless gentleman who recently moved to Winston-Salem from Charlotte. He said he was just walking down the street and someone from the church handed him a flier. He said he just hoped he would be able to get himself some shoes, socks, and maybe a blanket.  He concluded by saying, “Thanks to people like this, my outlook on life is getting better because I was very depressed and now I’m taking it one day at a time. I am a recovering addict and I need all the help I can get, and I have got that from a lot of people in Winston Salem and I really appreciate it.”

Another African-American homeless male who wished to remain nameless said, “I don’t know how I was going to make it through this winter with the clothes I have, honestly. Without the help from these people, I don’t know, I just don’t know.”

The day started with a dance from the church line dance group “Jazzy Ladies plus One,” followed by a prayer from one of the church members.  Everyone was then allowed to look over the items they could choose from.

Once they were done perusing the items, everyone went over to the bookmobile from the East Winston library where they were informed of the many options the library had to offer and were able to register for a library card. Sheila Nesmith, the driver of the bookmobile, said she enjoys doing events like this and that it was a good way to help others and let people know that the library is still open for all to take advantage of what they have to offer.

The pastor of First Baptist, Reverend Dr. Darryl W. Aaron, said, “First Baptist was at one time in the shadows, but because of this kind of work we are back in the light, we stand in the bright light.”

First Baptist also provided breast cancer information, blood pressure checks, glucose checks, as well as showing community members proper meal sizes in an effort to combat obesity and promote healthy eating.

Andrea Bush, coordinator of Fall Operation as well as the church Missionary president, said that First Baptist was the first black church in the area to have an event like this and that even though she is the coordinator, she can’t do it without the help of fellow church members. She also volunteers in the church food and clothing pantry in which they give away items to Holland Homes and neighboring communities. 

First Baptist concluded the day’s events by providing everyone with a warm meal of soup and fruit. “We left with full bellies, warm bodies, and high spirits,” said a single mother of two who also wished to remain nameless.

The Fall Operation was a big success and the church was able to help a lot of people who were very gracious to receive the assistance. The motto for the event was Matthew 25:40 which reads: “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. “

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