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Food Drive Saved by Christmas Volunteers

In 2018, when Dale and Julie Marks bought their home in the Beaverdale community of Des Moines, they were excited because the community is known for its elaborate holiday lights on all its homes. Julie said, “It was like a dream come true to buy a house here. I’ve wanted to live here since I first came through with friends to look at the lights 10 years ago.”

The Markses not only enjoyed participating in the holiday light show, but they leveraged their position in the festivities to help the less fortunate, collecting donations for a local food drive. Last year, visiting neighbors donated more then $7,500 and 1,500 pounds of food.

But when the couple both contracted COVID-19, Dale faced a long recovery and was too weak to unload the numerous boxes from his garage and stand on a ladder to string the yards and yards of lights. Julie was fully recovered, but her time was devoted to Dale’s care.

That’s when a local contractor, Bob Coffey, reached out. He heard about the Markses from a mutual friend. Coffey said, “When I learned they could use some help, I knew I wouldn’t have a problem getting a volunteer crew together. I called Julie and told her I’d love to put up their lights.”

Soon after, Coffey brought four of his employees to the Marks household. With all their tools and expertise, they were able to decorate the whole house in about three hours while Dale watched in dazed appreciation.

Julie said, “It was incredible that they’d do this for us — I wanted to cry.”

Coffey replied, “It’s important in life to pay it forward. If everyone did something, think how that would add up.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

When we help others in their need, we are modeling the way of Jesus.

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