Friday, April 6, 2012

JB ACTS: It All started at McDonald’s

Her 13-year-old son sealed the deal. Leah, Operations Director of June Bugs Childcare Development Center for nine years, had never participated in 91.1’s Drive Thru Difference, but on this Friday morning, she felt called by the Holy Spirit. “I don’t even want McDonald’s!” she thought, but that is exactly where she found herself after her son woke up with a craving for a bacon, egg and cheese bagel.

Leah went through the line, ordered, then paid for her food and the food for the car behind her. “I kept wrestling with what God wanted me to do,” said Lead, “I kept looking in the rearview mirror thinking ‘they probably know you, Lord; what difference does it make if I tell them You wanted me to do this?’” As Leah parked to wait for her breakfast, the car behind her pulled up.

Enter Deb, shopkeeper at Common Things Thrift Store. Deb rolled down her window and thanked Leah. The two began talking and their introductions quickly turned into a budding partnership between two philanthropists.

Deb and Keith, executive director of Common Heart, had considered opening a second food pantry but were not sure how to make it happen.  Leah had two spare classrooms at June Bugs and a desire to get involved. The community needed more help. The idea for JB ACTS was born.

Fast forward to April 3, 2012. JB ACTS is open for its sixth Tuesday food distribution. “We were slammed within the first 15 minutes!” said Keith. Community members walk into the June Bugs prayer room, adorned with a large cross that once stood at The Commonplace Prayer Trail and positive messages on chalkboard painted walls, to receive government commodities, baked goods and fresh produce.

“The people that come through here are very thankful,” said Elise, a Common Heart volunteer since July of 2011, “and we [the volunteers] are like one big, happy family!” Elise and the other Common Heart volunteers have formed friendships with the people they help at JB ACTS, Common Things and Common Cupboard – and that is the goal of Common Heart.

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