Holiday Gift Leaves Recipients and Volunteers “Happy and Blessed”
âFood goes a long way, to a degree, and that just increases the ability of cooks to cook more things for more people and fills the stomachs and that’s a really good thing,â Aldridge said. âIt makes people happy and blessed. “
Donating free food can help minimize stress in other important areas, Aldridge said.
âYou’re not looking for anything, because it’s already there,â he said. âIt gives you relief if you are economically depressed or if you are going through difficult times. It makes it so much better.
With God’s Grace partnered with several local organizations to help organize the event, including Hall Hunger and the Levin Foundation. The Levin family built the Dixie Drive-In in 1958, and it has remained in their family for generations. The Executive Director of the Levin Foundation, Karen Levin, spoke about how proud the foundation was to welcome the gift to its site.
âWe felt we really needed to help the people living in this community; many of them have been our customers for years, âshe said. âAnd now it’s time to give back to this community. We want people to have a good vacation. We can’t donate huge sums of money or anything, but we can at least make sure they have a meal.
Food insecurity hit the Dayton area hard after the 2019 tornadoes and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Oakwood volunteer and resident Sarah Teske said events like these are crucial in helping the Dayton community continue to heal.
âI think at a time when we have struggled so much, it’s beautiful to see people giving grace to others, giving themselves grace and giving grace to the world,â she said.
Wednesday’s giveaway featured dozens of volunteers who donated their time and effort to help load food into cars for families in need. The dedication of so many Dayton residents is indicative of a general sense of community within the area, Aldridge said.
âI mean, there’s a lot of pantry and a lot of volunteers,â he said. “And when you see that all the time, it shows how selfless (the volunteers) are and how hard they work to make things successful.”
Levin said that volunteers working together to serve the community are a great way for people to come together and put aside their differences, Levin added.
âThere is no mention of politics, no mention of race or color, of creed, nothing,â she said. “It’s everyone who comes together, no matter what to help their neighbor.”
Kettering resident Dan Acuff has volunteered with With God’s Grace for over three years and has participated in numerous charity and giveaway events. However, even he had to admit that Wednesday’s event was something special.
âUsually we don’t have that kind of involvement for volunteers,â Acuff said. âBut it’s great to see that. We have a lot of people from all over the place. It’s really cool to see that.
The spirit of volunteerism and service, Acuff added, sums up what it means to be a member of the Dayton community.
“Well, if you can’t do something to improve someone’s life, what good are you?” ” He asked.