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A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25 NIV

The holidays can be a time where we are looking forward to food, catching up on sleep and finally watching that show we’ve been looking forward to. But what makes the holiday season truly special is when we make a decision to see the needs around us and use our resources or talents to meet them.

Growing up, I watched my my mom as a single mother cooking food for our family as well as many of the neighborhood kids and literally anyone in need. This continued on through college and when I got married. Our home was open to anyone who had need. I was always deeply inspired by this.

Our single professionals from Contra Costa North took a moment to inspire others by seeing a need, and meeting that need. They saw how the pandemic has affected a lot of people in a myriad of ways, one of which has been a food scarcity for millions of Americans.

A recent ABC News Article wrote:

As families gather across the country to celebrate the holidays, many are struggling to fill their kitchens with fresh food and groceries. The U.S. has made virtually no progress toward solving this issue of food insecurity in the last two years,according to United States Department of Agriculture data. More than 10% of U.S. households (13.8 million) were food insecure at some time during 2020…

Food insecurity persists, forcing community organizers to act, ABC News

Understanding the seriousness of food insecurity which leaves families having insufficient funds and resources to provide adequate food for their household throughout the year, some single professionals from Contra Costa chose to work with the Contra Costa Food Bank to serve the underprivileged. The food bank expressed that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, they would help feed approximately 170,000 people per month. Now, since the pandemic began, it’s been consistently over 240,000 per month! They also said that one in nine people in the community are served through the food bank.

A few of the single professionals answered the call to serve, rallied people around them and used Sunday Services as a way to collect some food. They would then drop off the food they had collected at the distribution center that would weigh it.

19 Then he had everyone sit down on the grass and he then took the five loaves and two fish. He looked up into heaven, gave thanks to God, and broke the bread into pieces. He then gave it to his disciples, who in turn gave it to the crowds. 20 And everyone ate until they were satisfied, for the food was multiplied in front of their eyes![a] They picked up the leftovers and filled up twelve baskets full!

Matthew 14:19-20 TPT

As this scripture teaches us, it’s amazing to see that when we look to God for help, he does amazing things. Their original goal was an ambitious 350 pounds of food to be collected, which included canned goods and monetary donations. Although they were unsure if they would meet their goal, they chose to have faith; by the end of the food drive, 1700 pounds of food was collected!

This is a great example of seeing God move. A few individuals thought about others instead of themselves during the holidays, which led to inspiring others to do the same. This is a great reminder that people want to do good, and we only need to find an opportunity to lead the way.

Written by

Sam Manuel

Sam is a former outside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. Since retiring from the NFL, Sam has worked in the ministry serving communities in the Bay Area.