More than 1,000 people participated in the annual We Care Warsaw, the outreach sponsored by the Winona Lake, Ind., Grace Brethren Church (Bruce Barlow, lead pastor) today (Saturday, November 23). Held since 2008, the event is designed to demonstrate God’s love to those in need in greater Warsaw-Winona Lake. Dave Rank, worship pastor at the church who oversees the event, also said that about 800 people took advantage of the free Thanksgiving meal hosted by the church. Volunteers from the church numbered more than 300.
A variety of complimentary services are available throughout the day — haircuts, manicures, family portraits, etc. One station provided a recipe to make their own laundry soap then gave them the supplies to make their own on the spot. For the kids (and the young-at-heart), there were inflatable games, pedal cars, face painting, crafts, and an opportunity to frost your own cookie. Free groceries, including fresh eggs, were available, and there was a “store” where gifts could be purchased at a reduced rate. A number of community agencies were also available to answer questions and offer help.
The church takes over a portion of Grace College’s Gordon Recreation Center for the event, while the dinner is served in the fellowship hall of the church, which is located at 1200 Kings Highway.