Spring HWH Newsletter (1)
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We pray your 2021 is off to a blessed start! We are so thankful for how the Lord has blessed Hearts With Hands with many outreach opportunities in what is typically our "slower months."
In January, we participated in Ingles, our local grocery store, community giving bags. Purchased by shoppers, these bags are for donation and include mac and cheese, can soup, and can vegetables. These items are a blessing to use in our family food boxes. We had a couple of volunteer days in the month to sort through the goods and get them ready to distribute when needed this year. Our founder and Pastor, Ralph Sexton, began praying with us for a way to serve our community with food in light of job loss and the Coronavirus shutdowns. Shortly after we began to pray and talk this out, I received a call from FEMA. They asked Hearts With Hands to be a distributor of the Farmers to Families fresh food box program. We said YES! We knew this was an answer to prayer. Beginning January 28, for twelve weeks, we received a tractor-trailer of 800-1,200 food boxes to distribute in Western NC. We partnered with Trinity Baptist to provide this distribution on Thursdays called "Trinity Care." After the program ended on April 22, we distributed 11,112 food boxes, approximately 266,688 pounds of food, and had over 1,644 volunteer hours. To God be the Glory for each person who received prayer and a food box. We are thankful for at least one soul who accepted Christ through this outreach opportunity!
On February 18, we responded to the deadly NC tornado in Brunswick County by sending a tractor-trailer of food boxes to local officials for distribution. This devastating tornado stretched across 22 miles, impacting hundreds of families. At the same time, most of the South was experiencing unusually cold weather. Due to the freezing temperatures, many were without water or power. We partnered with Pastor Dr. Ed Young and Second Baptist in Houston, TX, to deliver an entire tractor-trailer of gallon and bottled water. Huge shout out to Tubby Zachary of Heritage Transport for transporting the load and Ingles Markets for sponsoring the gallons of water.
In March, we were excited to welcome Abees Chapel Baptist youth group to volunteer for an afternoon. They helped us prepare cleaning buckets, paper kits, and feminine hygiene kits for this storm season. In our local community, we continued distributing our weekly food boxes through "Trinity Care." We also provided those same food boxes and other needed supplies, such as cutlery, hand sanitizer, and cookies, to local charities, local emergency officials, and the National Guard. We provided a pallet of Box of Hope food boxes for our Asheville Police Department community outreach. In addition to being the Director of Hearts With Hands and Greg Lentz Ministries, I accepted the request to step in as President of the North Carolina Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NC-VOAD). NC-VOAD is an affiliate of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD
). National VOAD is an association of organizations that mitigates and alleviates the impact of disasters, provides a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration, and fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by a disaster. I also am the chair of the NC Donations Committee. These two new roles will allow me to help more individuals and organizations by organizing the volunteer agency response and state distributions in times of disaster in North Carolina.
In April, we provided another pallet of our Box of Hope food boxes for the Asheville Police Department. Thanks to Walmart Supercenter, we also provided hand sanitizer for all the Fire and Emergency Departments in Buncombe County. We also completed our final and twelfth week of food box distribution. April 18th kicked off Volunteer appreciation week! We are so thankful for every volunteer. As hurricane season is approaching, we will need more volunteers! If interested, you can learn more at heartswithhands.org/get-involved.
Thank you for your continued love, prayers, and support. Please pray for us as we prepare for Hurricane Season beginning on June 1.
In His Service,
Greg Lentz, Director of Hearts with Hands