There’s a well-known quote that says, “You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.”
These words came to life this January when the Santa Clarita church treated the COVID-19 ward staff at the local Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital to 60 meals from LaCo Taco, a local restaurant.
A church board goal of finding unique ways to reach out to the local community gained momentum a few weeks earlier. When one church member, who is a critical care nurse, mentioned to her family how much another recent donated staff-wide meal had meant, the idea was born.
“We know it’s not easy, especially right now,” shared Amy Hinkle, church secretary. “There’s so much heartache going on. To recognize the local hospital here in any way possible, to let them know that we’re thinking of them and praying for them, is the least we can do.”
Board approval for the event was quick and unanimous. “At a time when our community’s medical personnel are stretched to the breaking point with COVID patients, day after day after never-ending day, meeting their basic nutritional needs with a little bit extra and unexpected seems to us to be an essential part of what we are called to do as servants of our Lord,” Richard Guy, head elder, noted.
“Helping frontline workers is personal for us,” Mike Stevenson, Santa Clarita church senior pastor, explained. “Some of our church family work on the COVID units. It has been reported that they work very long hours with little time to stop and eat. Our action was meant to recognize their service and raise their spirits. I am pleased that this and other actions are the Spirit-led response to this distressing time we are passing through. We’re not walking away and hiding; we’re walking toward and supporting. It’s these actions we want to be known for.”
The manager of the COVID unit, Melinda, later shared a short thank-you video with the church, in which she said, “Thank you for thinking about us. We appreciate it, because we know everyone’s going through a lot, and for you to spend time thinking about us and serving us means a lot.”
The most special element of this activity, as Guy put it, was, “the reminder of the connectedness we share as a community, even when disease puts up barriers.”