An Oak Harbor church provided Christmas meals for more than 460 families in need this year in a first-of-its-kind event for the congregation.
Members of Life Church raised over $30,000 to put together Christmas meal bags, complete with enough ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, stuffing, rolls, cranberry sauce and Martinelli’s for five people.
Worship Director James Sanchez said members of the congregation distributed all of the bags they assembled to low-income families in the Oak Harbor area.
This is the first year the church has done something like this. Sanchez said the idea came to church leaders as they were praying about how to best love the community.
“We are super excited because not only did we get to meet physical needs of people in our community, but we also got to pray with a lot of people, a lot of families, a lot of people that are going through tough times,” he said.
Sanchez said the church hopes to do something similar next year.
Life Church member Pete Boets was one of the more than 150 volunteers who spent last Sunday afternoon distributing meal bags. He led a team knocking on doors in low income areas Dec. 18, asking folks whether they would like a free Christmas meal. The distribution took over four hours.
Boets said he enjoyed seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they received their meals. As an active duty member of the Navy, Boets said he receives a lot of support from the residents of Oak Harbor, and it felt good to turn around and serve them in kind.
“There’s really nothing like giving back to the community that you live in,” he said.