Wings of Grace hosts weekly drives for those in need

 

Wings of Grace Relief Center had humble beginnings as a stopgap effort for disaster relief efforts after the devastating April 27, 2011, tornado tore through West Alabama, but now the organization has new life and new goals.

First built as a disaster relief center under the Forest Lake Baptist Church umbrella, as the years went on it found its offerings expand with the area’s needs. Now, Wings of Grace hosts weekly events at the FLBC-affiliated Holt Baptist Church, where it hands out items including food, clothing, furniture and anything else residents may find themselves going without.

Linda Reach has been with Wings of Grace since its founding days, and said she estimates the organization has helped more than 20,000 people over the past 11 years.

“We have clients who tell us we are such a blessing to them, but let me tell you, they are a true blessing to us,” Reach said.

Wings of Grace Director Terri Hibbard said organizers never dreamed they’d still be doing this 11 years later.

“We just thought, three or five years, sure we can do that,” Hibbard said. “And then it extended and extended, and we outgrew the area we were in.”

Every Thursday, Wings of Grace hosts a giveaway at Holt Baptist Church, and once a month it hosts Senior’s Day, where anyone 60 or older can get a box full of items including food from the West Alabama Food Bank alongside household necessities like toilet paper and cleaning supplies.

“We have 91 people who are coming here to get special boxes of food for pickup in addition to what we give them,” Hibbard said.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Wings of Grace moved its operations to a drive-thru format. In a few more weeks, distribution will head back indoors.

“People will come in, they will register, we have personal shoppers that walk around with them and help them select the items, the number of items that they need for every person in their family,” Hibbard said. “Then they drive around to the back and that’s where they will get their items.”

Special holidays, including the upcoming Mother’s Day, mean special selections, and Christmas-time goodies are already being collected, sorted and boxed.

If you’re interested in lending a helping hand, Wings of Grace is always on the lookout for more volunteers and donors.

“We pray, we cry, and we thank the Lord every day for what they have given us,” Reach said. “I just love seeing these people come in.”

For more information about how you can help or get help, click right here.

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