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Church helping community rebound amid pandemic and recover from hurricanes

Posted at 9:37 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 23:29:19-04

A Lafayette church is doing its part to help the community rebound from the pandemic, but they are also helping with recovery efforts following Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

Bishop Alton Gatlin of Gethsemane Church says so many people are hurting right now because of the pandemic and hurricanes. He says anything the church can do to ease financial burdens is a blessing.

Some waited in line for hours for an 18-wheeler full of groceries to pull up at Gethsemane Church. The line stretched for blocks and church members even directed traffic.

Bishop Gatlin says more than 2000 people will benefit from this giveaway. The church partnering with other community organizations to make this happen.

"There are a whole lot of things that have just combined to make this a perfect storm for so many families who are hurting and are in serious danger of losing those things that they've worked all their lives for," Gatlin said.

Those who waited in line were gracious. Some waved at volunteers and thanked them multiple times for loading up their meals.

Phyllis Francis said, "It's a big contribution and I appreciate it."

Bishop Gatlin says the people are what makes this giveaway worth it.

"We're hoping that by providing groceries it's money they don't have to spend, by providing a meal it's something they don't have to worry about and any other way we can help our community that's what we're trying to do," Gatlin said. "A number of people have suffered loss and loved ones are still ill. We are praying for them, keep the faith, keep your heads up. Let's stay together because together, we can accomplish anything."

In the coming days, the church plans to distribute groceries in Crowley, Jennings and Lake Charles.

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