SMOKEY POINT — The food bank program at Jake's House Prayer & Worship Center, located in Suite 105 at 18824 Smokey Point Blvd., was able to help at least three families in need during its inaugural Friday afternoon on Dec. 13.
Jaymi Graham, one of the coordinators of the food bank at Jake's House, credited Arlington's Mission Motors with donating $500, which will allow the food bank to supply meals to many more families, as its Friday afternoon distributions continue through the winter months and beyond. She also noted the roughly 15 volunteers who pitched in, a number which she acknowledged is likely to vary from week to week, depending on prospective volunteers' availability.
"One person even got saved, which is most important, and accepted Jesus Christ as his savior," Graham said. "This is not forced on our clients, but offered."
Graham hopes to see at least as many volunteers and families during the food bank's second Friday, from 12:30-2:30 p.m. on Dec. 20.
"We are ready to serve as many people this coming Friday as God sends our way," Graham said. "God will equip us with the blessings to provide to others."
Graham explained that food bank clients on Dec. 13 were free to choose one of each type of food, from four cafeteria-sized tables of non-perishable food items, as well as enough individual items of clothing to assemble one complete outfit, also from four cafeteria-sized tables of neatly folded clothing items and shoes.
"Our clients could get dressed from head to toe with our clothes, and even received knitted blankets from Knit Wits and Happy Hookers," Graham said.
Graham welcomed any new donations of non-expired non-perishable foods, as well as winter clothes for all ages.
"Non-alcoholic beverages, baby food and other baby items were among the supplies that we weren't able to give this past Friday, and we have no bread connections," said Graham, who expressed her preemptive appreciation to any other local businesses that might choose to contribute to the food bank at Jake's House. "We could really use gift cards for retail stores, gas, oil changes and shoe stores. They can mail these to Jake's House, and designate that they should be used for the food bank and clothing drive. We can supply them with tax ID numbers for write-offs, if needed."
Among the other businesses that have already donated to the Jake's House food bank, Graham listed McDonald's, Great Clips, Sports Clips, Subway, Little Caesar's Pizza, Value Village, the Tree of Life Christian Outlet and the Marysville YMCA.
"It's time for a change in our communities, and the only way to conquer that is to get all our individuals and local businesses involved," Graham said. "When families are in need, it's not only food that is needed, because their everyday living expenses still have to be maintained. We just want people to think outside of the box. We want to be the change to set forth the example for our future generations."
Graham reiterated her belief that coming together to care for one's community is an essential part of the Christian faith, serving God by serving one's fellow man, and she insisted that any size of donations would be appreciated.
"Without your donations, none of this would be possible," said Graham, who also thanked the volunteer and prayer teams of Jake's House, including pastors Keith Kippen, John Knoch, Terry Bonner and Chuck Sweet. "Your acts of kindness will not be forgotten. We appreciate your loving hearts, hard work and dedication."
For more information, call Jake's House at 360-659-8900, or Jaymi Graham and her daughter Kaylee at 360-363-4462.