Giving back with a purpose

Whole Man Ministries gave out over 300 turkey dinners during their giveaway last Saturday.

Giving back with a purpose
November 24
14:00 2021

During the holiday season, Whole Man Ministries (WMM) routinely gives back to the community with events that center on feeding the community. This year, they have included COVID-19 awareness with their annual event.

Last Saturday, WMM, located at 3916 Old Lexington Road, gave out over 300 turkey dinners that will feed six people for five days. They also partnered with an organization that conducted 60 COVID-19 tests and administered  53 booster shots. WMM also gave away toys to kids and $25 gift cards to the first 50 people to get a vaccine booster shot.

“It really went well,” said Bishop Barry Washington, senior pastor of WMM. “We had quite a few families out there and we got rid of 350 bags of food and 303 turkeys. We had a lot of toys that we got from Walmart and that was a blessing right there.

“We know that many are going through it and struggling, and we thought that this would be a good gesture to be able to give toys to the kids.”

Washington was pleased by the number of people that came out to get a vaccine booster shot or just to be tested for COVID-19. According to Washington, they ran out of forms due to the large number of people that came out Saturday afternoon.

The families that came out to the event were very thankful for the gesture by the church, Washington said. There were multiple people that have come to the church for events in the past and were excited to see what the church had in store this year.

“They were just saying, ‘Thank you so much for doing this’ and ‘This means a lot and I needed it at this time,’” said Washington about some of the responses he received. “One young lady was saying that she had lost her husband, and this would be a big help to her. We had a lot of elderly come through and they were just overjoyed. So many said they appreciate that we did it and they thanked us.”

Throughout the pandemic, Washington, his wife, and WMM have been very visible in the community, oftentimes sacrificing their personal time to help others. Washington says it’s a pleasure to have the means to help your fellow man, but says he must squeeze in a vacation for he and his wife soon.

“We need a vacation and we have not had one since the pandemic started,” he said. “My wife and I have been on the front lines since March of last year and we have conducted eight of these giveaways. Each of them requires a lot of planning and money to pull them off, so she and I haven’t had a vacation in a long while.”

Washington recalled around the holidays last year, he wasn’t going to have a giveaway, but says the Lord spoke to him after watching a news story about a church having a giveaway. This year he says people were actually calling the church to inquire about whether or not they were having the giveaway.

The partnerships with organizations and the volunteers play a major role for every event WMM holds. Washington says he is appreciative of everyone who assisted with putting this event together, because without them, it would not happen.

“I am so thankful for all of the partnerships,” he said. “An event like this costs about $8,500 and some people don’t know that. We had 15 partners for this and it was a blessing and we couldn’t have done this without them. We had 31 volunteers and to pull off an event like this, you need volunteers to orchestrate the traffic and other things.

“I am grateful for the 15 partners we had and the 31 volunteers. They stood in the cold from 9:30 until 2:15 and I am grateful for each of them. They smiled, they were polite, and they were pleasant.”

Even though he has been working since the beginning of the pandemic, Washington says he gets energized by the smiles and appreciation of the people who come out. “It goes so quick and so fast, when you see these parents and children looking through the windows and talking about how appreciative they are, that inspired all of us,” Washington said. “We look at it not as a chore or job, but as a ministry.

“When you can make a difference like that, when you go home, you feel good inside and the joy bubbles up inside of you. I asked many of the volunteers how they feel about it and they were so elated.”

Whole Man Ministries will hold a similar event on Dec. 21. They will give away food for the Christmas holiday and have the COVID-19 testing and booster shots once again. Washington says this is a way to help keep families safe during the holiday season by getting them tested and vaccinated.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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