Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, outreach programs all throughout the community have risen to the occasion, serving as a beacon of hope for those most affected by the virus outbreak. On Saturday, Delaware Bible Church (DBC) was that beacon for the community as it handed out hundreds of “blessing bags” in a drive-thru service.
Approximately 515 bags were prepared, and anywhere from 300 to 350 of them were dropped into cars during the service, which ran from 9 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of DBC. The bags included toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, antibacterial wipes, and general food items. Some bags even included protective masks, said Brad Harris, the pastor of administration & outreach at DBC.
“Some of the items were donated, but many of them we purchased through local custodial vendors that we have and people like that,” Harris said of how the blessing bag items were collected.
To ensure the safety of both those receiving and dropping the bags, precautions were taken with the bags prior to the service. Harris, citing a New England Journal of Medicine article, said that because the virus can live on surfaces for up to 72 hours, all items were kept in complete isolation for 72 hours prior to being handed out. During the event, all volunteers who handed out the bags wore masks and gloves.
Those driving in to receive the bags opened the trunk of their cars themselves, where the bags were then placed and trunks closed by volunteers to ensure there was no contact between drivers and volunteers.
Each bag also included a Gospel tract and an encouraging note from Senior Pastor Scott Tiede with contact information for the church should there be anything else the community members may need.
The bags leftover from the service were delivered to homes on Belle Avenue, Londontown Apartments, Common Ground Free Store and Delaware City Schools Family Resource Center.
While the first blessing bags drive-thru service was a resounding success, Harris said there are no plans at the moment to hold another one. However, he said, “If this were to continue on for quite a while, then we may consider it.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.