by Adara Pineda
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (Eagle News) — The domino effect of COVID-19 continues to take a toll on different aspects of our communities. Throughout the US, more than 36 million Americans are without a job, struggling to make ends meet. While front liners continue to fight the battle saving lives as we race to find a vaccine.
Seeing the growing need in their community, INC Giving from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and High Point, North Carolina, organized events to strengthen their ties within their communities.
INC Giving is a project of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ), that encourages volunteers to go into their communities and share their faith through acts of kindness.
INC Giving volunteers from High Point, organized a “grocery bag n’ go” at the INC local congregation. Cars drive through the INC compound and pop their trunks for free groceries. A line of cars wrapped around the block, as 500 grocery bags full of canned goods, pasta, fruit, bread and the like, were distributed.
“Sometimes the job loss and income loss, people don’t know where to turn. So you guys are actually feeling the need in terms of helping out with food insecurity,” says Michael Holmes, City Council Representative, Ward 6. “But on a deeper note, you guys are showing us the power of faith.”
“We appreciate that.” Freddie Byrch, a local resident adds, “[this] is being held in a multicultural site. It shows a connection. And it also shows that you’re caring and that people are coming together.”
The Iglesia Ni Cristo, is commonly known as “Filipino church,” where the Church’s Central Administration Office is located in Quezon City, Philippines. However, the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ), actually consists of 100+ ethnicities and local congregations can be found in over 160 countries around the world.
Recognizing the Frontline
And the act of giving didn’t stop there. A four-hour drive to the east, INC Giving volunteers from Virginia Beach, Virginia, prepared to give frontline workers at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital a gift to honor their hard work during the pandemic.
“Today we just had the true meaning of love thy neighbor as the Church of Christ came and wanted to celebrate our first responders that work here at the hospital” says Paul Gaden, President of Sentara Princess Anne Hospital.
“We had a large parade and also a fantastic donation of food and drinks. Plus gift baskets that had cards made from the youth of the congregation of the Church.”
Paul further goes on to express, “when something like this occurs, you don’t need to ask, well, who is my neighbor? We know the answer to that because we’re leaning into one another. And that just, I think, strengthens our community and really shows that, ‘Virginia Beach strong’.”
“Not only were we able to practice the commandment or follow the commandment of our Almighty God, to help our fellow men to do good for you know, at every opportunity,” Brother Rowell David, a Minister of the Gospel, adds, “we were also able to Let [our neighbors] know that the Iglesia Ni Cristo is here.