GRAND RAPIDS, MI – New Faith Temple Church of God in Christ is a small church with a big heart that always seeks to support residents of the Grand Rapids area.
As a warm holiday after the wounds and devastation the world is currently facing, church leaders told MLive/The Grand Rapids Press that they have decided to pool their many sponsorships to donate $500,000 of free new goods to residents.
On Saturday, the church at 1701 Kalamazoo Ave SE., opened the door to its basement in the Oakdale neighborhood for community members to shop from a wide selection of household items ranging from appliances interior decoration products.
Reverend Deidric Tupper and his wife Natasha said they let it be known that the church was not a “mega-church”, but that they had a “mega-heart”.
“We saw an opportunity about 12 years ago when we were part of a needs assessment study,” Tupper said. “We discovered that there were gaps within the community and we wanted to be part of a resolution of those gaps that existed. It’s the result of the hard work we put in and great business partners in the community of Grand Rapids, but throughout the state of Michigan and beyond.
The New Faithful Community Development Corporation is a nonprofit organization and an affiliate of the church, Tupper said, which made the idea for a giveaway of this size possible.
“We were fortunate enough to connect with a representative from Amazon and Walmart,” Tupper said. “And here we are much later to the tune of probably half a million dollars that we just gave to the community. All of our programs, all of our resources are free.
March 12 was full of joy, Tupper said, with too many people to count walking through the door and looking for what they needed from a wide selection of items such as a Gourmia Digital French toaster oven. Door Air Fryer, which can cost around $100.
There were several other household and kitchen appliances like blenders and the Shaq egg machine, Dirt Devil vacuum cleaners, Lasko fans and heaters, humidifiers as well as clothing, beauty products such as cosmetics, toys and various interior decoration products.
Amazon boxes lined each basement wall. Many items were still wrapped and ready for the next giveaway within the next 30 days.
“It’s about one percent of what was left,” Natasha Tupper said of the Amazon boxes lining one of the basement walls. “If you look around, these boxes are full. If you go to the back, you’ll see a whole hallway full of goods. There are so many things you can do in a day.
As the weather changes, the Tupper family hopes to bring the next gift or event outside for the community to drop by and pick up what they need.
“Our philosophy is that it has to be a parallel track,” Deidric said. said Tupper. “You can’t build a community from a brick-and-mortar perspective and not build people. You have to build people because society is made of people. We can build people, it increases and it expands the quality of life of our communities, neighborhoods, society, city, state and our nation.
We know it has to be a parallel track. People must have housing. They need to experience good quality jobs that provide quality of life. And when we provide them, society changes for the good.
With comprehensive services like a youth summer camp, health awareness, workforce programs, financial counseling and more, the church continues to strengthen the community around them by offering free resources.
Next on the church’s agenda is their upcoming free community legal clinic on Thursday, March 31. To learn more about upcoming events and services, head to their website.
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