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Homebound and Without Food. Who Would Help?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic even began, Barb Wetherbee was dealing with a health crisis of her own.

She shares, “I’ve been struggling for many years with diverticulosis. There are some days I can’t even get out of bed still.”

The diagnosis led to twenty surgeries over the last seven years. Barb went on disability, but the income hasn’t been enough to live on. 

“I worked so hard for over thirty years, and could’ve made it on my own if I didn’t have all these medical problems,” she said through tears. “Finances are tight, and bills piling up. It was a struggle. I was starving and said, ‘I need help. Please, I need help. I’m not gonna make it if I don’t get help.’”

A neighbor told Barb about Operation Blessing partner, Buist Community Assistance Center. Buist is doing everything they can to keep Barb safe, while providing her with the food she desperately needs.

Ministry Director Jenelle Jonkman says, “COVID has made conditions really hard for us as a food pantry, and we keep adapting, and Barb is one of the means that I have to gauge our response. In my mind, ‘Is this safe for Barb?’ And just the privilege it is to pray with her and be with her to help provide her food and provide comfort and companionship through hard times so that she knows that she’s not alone.” 

“They load my trunk and that’s a huge relief for me!” Barb laughs. “If I do get COVID, I could very well die, but I knew I could count on Buist. I feel safe. They are protecting everyone that goes there. They know what we’re going through and what we need, and they’re willing to provide that.”

“We were starting to run out of dry goods, and it was when the Operation Blessing truck pulled in that we were able to restock those resources that were running low,” Jenelle shares. “Operation Blessing is a huge part of what we do in helping provide food. It’s all brought together to make a difference for the Kingdom.”

“I’m just truly, truly thankful for Operation Blessing and Buist,” Barb says. “I don’t feel like I would’ve survived if I didn’t have people donate to Operation Blessing to feed American people that are struggling. It’s not just the food that they provide, but also friendship and prayer and hope. They give us hope.”

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