A Pennsylvania church decided to bless frontline workers in their community through what they called a "Grocery Store Takeover."
Macedonia Church of Pittsburgh surprised 200 customers and employees at a Giant Eagle grocery store by helping them pay their bills.
Customers received $50 toward their groceries and employees were given $50 gift cards to nearby stores.
"We wanted to recognize these front line workers and show them that we appreciate all they do in this season," the church said in a Facebook post last Saturday. "We're able to be a blessing in our communities because of faithful givers like YOU! Thanks to all staff & volunteers as well as the management at Southside Giant Eagle for making this an excellent initiative."
Senior Pastor Brian James Edmonds told The Christian Post that the church set up the event because "our world is hurting right now."
"We are battling multiple pandemics, people are grieving lost loved ones, and frontline workers are putting their lives on the line," Edmonds said. "We thought this would be a powerful way to give people hope and demonstrate the love of Christ during uncertain times."
It cost nearly $13,000 to make the effort possible, but Edmonds said it was "rooted in our understanding that the church should also tithe into the communities that it serves."
"This is what it means to be a good neighbor. As a part of this particular outreach, we also gave $40,000 to local nonprofits who are doing transformative work," he added.
And Edmonds explained that he wants people to know "they are not alone, that they are appreciated, and that the love of God just might surprise you at the grocery store. Our prayer is that someone's faith is birthed, strengthened, or restored, as we are faithful to our calling to be the church."
Macedonia participated in the giveaway to show the community that good things can happen despite the challenges they are facing.
"If we can have 2021 have a fresh start for a lot of people, and they feel blessed, loved, they feel they're not in this by themselves, that would be an awesome way for us to be who we're called to be," the pastor concluded.