Members of Grace Community Church in Arlington honored thousands of unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic: grocery store employees.
Over the course of three days, 75 volunteers from the church distributed 5,000 gift bags to employees at 60 grocery stores in Arlington and seven neighboring counties, said Anna Maia, the Director of Compassion and Justice at Grace Community Church, in a video.
“Thank you, grocery store workers for serving us through this whole year of this pandemic. It’s an honor to be a church in your community and to serve you as you’ve been serving us,” she said. “We are so excited to be part of this operation and to just show a little bit of appreciation to everything you’ve been doing.”
Each employee received a bag with a gift card, granola bars, lip balm, and an “essential” button that Maia said is a reminder “that they are remembered and appreciated.”
This was one way the church has worked in the community while being uprooted from its previous indoor location at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Grace currently holds its services online and, weather permitting, outside of the school.
A volunteer named Stephanie said in the video that she was glad to participate because these frontline workers “are not thanked as much as the other essential workers.”
In the video, another volunteer named Anne said workers told her, “We are always telling each other that no one cares what we’re doing.”
One woman who works in a store’s customer service department called the church “to say how incredibly touched I am by this crazy-thoughtful gift. It’s just so beautiful. I deeply appreciate it.”
Photos via Grace Community Church/Vimeo
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