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People Taking Action: Local church shows it's 'For the 757!'

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Posted at 6:04 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 18:04:20-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Church members are loading up bags of groceries that are going to families struggling to put food on the table - all donated by members of Grace Bible Church. It's a part of their "Fill A Bag, Feed A Family" campaign.

Melanie Lee is Grace Bible's executive director of local outreach; she says it's an organized effort of members dropping off bags of groceries at the church to be taken to local schools to be sent home with children in need.

"We've been doing it for a little over five or six years, I want to say. And it's grown from a small one school to over 30 schools we're helping to support. I think for most people in our church that are choosing to help in this way, out in the community, it just means so much to be able to give or provide or support someone in a way that they might not otherwise be able to do for themselves," she said.

Grace Bible Church, which has locations in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, had a specific goal for their "Fill A Bag" campaign, which is tied to their motto: "For the 757."

"So, the goal has always been 757 bags because for Grace Bible Church, it's close to our heart is to be for the 757. For so long, churches have been known for what they're against, and we really want to be known for what we're for," Lee explained.

The members that come through their doors aren't just taking part in the "Fill a Bag, Feed A Family" program - they have adopted 13 schools in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, where they're doing a lot of volunteering and mentoring there.

On top of that, they host a variety of programs at the Norfolk Juvenile Detention Center.

"And we are just there to support the superintendent of the detention center, along with the principal of the school in the detention center, just to find ways we can support them and just to make this experience for kids and students and teachers and staff a place where they feel loved."

The church also helped collect more than 1,000 Christmas gifts, which were donated last month to kids in Norfolk and Virginia Beach schools.

For all those things, News 3 presented Grace Bible Church with a People Taking Action award, along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.

Related: Faith & Fellowship: Virginia Beach woman opens her home to feed Pungo community

"That's amazing! That's really, truly... this is really for all the people in our church that have contributed, taken part and really served their community."

And Lee added the the gift card will go right back to their outreach efforts.

To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, click here.