Showers blesses community with food, toys

The fresh food giveaway at Showers of Blessings Harvest Center featured artisan bread, cakes and a wide range of fresh produce, including brussels sprouts, honey crisp apples, oranges and lemons.

AIDA MALLARD/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 2:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 2:07 p.m.

Showers of Blessings Harvest Center Inc. opened its doors and hearts to the east Gainesville community at the inaugural food and toy giveaway.



Pastor: Apostle Willie L. King and Prophetess and Pastor Linda King.
Location: 2615 SE 15th St.
Services: Fresh Manna is 8 a.m. Sunday, followed by morning worship and children’s church at 11 a.m. Mid-week service/interactive Bible study is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Phone: 352-375-3589.

Minister Janie Crawford, a member of the church, said 250 children ages 4-15 registered for the toy giveaway, which was part of an event that included a fresh food giveaway with artisan bread, dessert, fresh fruit and vegetables, a hot dog lunch, bags of healthy snacks, blood pressure screenings and an opportunity to donate blood at the LifeSouth Bloodmobile. The event was held last Saturday at the church located at 2615 SE 15th St.

Apostle Willie King, pastor of Showers of Blessings, said the church should be a blessing to the community.

"The church should impact the community, assess needs and see what it can as a church to lift the burdens," King said. "Can our church be a blessing to the community? That's my goal."

Crawford said toy giveaway referral forms were distributed in east Gainesville to churches and after-school programs, including the Woodland Park Boys and Girls Club. She said each child received two to three toys and extra toys were set aside for those who came but were not registered. Bags of healthy snacks were also distributed.

"We have extra toys for people who show up and are not registered," Crawford said. "We don't want to turn anyone away."

During the food giveaway, participants were encouraged to take as may items as they wanted and volunteers were on hand to help carry their food boxes to their cars. Crawford said the fresh food came from the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank.

Kathier Brown, the guardian of her 5-year-old grandchild, said the toy giveaway was a blessing for her. "These toys are going to help me give her a Christmas," Brown said. "Otherwise, I couldn't give her presents."

Shabrika Ford, who has two children and is nine months pregnant, said she is a single parent without a job and unable to provide gifts for her children.

"It's great they're providing toys and food for people who really need it," Ford said. "These are nice people who really want to give a helping hand. They made me feel welcome."

King said the toy and food giveaway will be expanded next year. King said Showers of Blessings is also reaching outside the church walls by doing things like providing a computer lab the community can use, reaching out to the Carver Gardens community on SE 15th Street to assess how the church can help and adopting Williams Elementary School to provide tutoring and other services.

"If you're going to meet the people of God, you have to go outside the church walls," King said. "We want to target areas where we can make a bigger impact and be a blessing."

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top