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Lawrenceville church provides Christmas groceries to families of unemployed

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Struggling families will be blessed this Christmas, with a church's offering to the community.

12Stone Church, a large Lawrenceville area congregation, will pass out thousands of turkeys, groceries and a few extra treats during an event at Coolray Field at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The "meal and more" packages include a turkey or ham from Honeybaked Ham, a week's worth of groceries, four tickets to a Gwinnett Braves home game and a "Christmas is Love" CD from the church.

"The economic outlook hasn't improved for many families since last year and people began calling the church office in November asking if we were helping families again this year," said Kevin Myers, the church's senior pastor. "There's no reason to create something new when the same need exists. This is one way we can make a significant contribution in our community."

The church took up a special offering last week. Combined with help from HoneyBaked Ham, Signature Foods, the Gwinnett Braves and Sunbelt Rentals, more than $1 million in goods and services will be distributed to the community, a press release said.

About 3,200 Christmas packages will be distributed on a first-come, first-service basis at the baseball stadium, located near the church on Buford Drive. Another 2,800 packages will be given to families struggling within the church community and who responded to a letter sent out to Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Comments

MaryHendrix 3 years, 5 months ago

This is great, but I think they need to do this at the Church. With the mall traffic this has become a major pain for the neighborhoods around the stadium. We have been unable to get out of our neighborhood all day and forget about going to the mall.
Please be considerate of other people when planning these things. We didn't ask for the stadium to be in our backyard and with events like this it really has become a headache.

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R 3 years, 5 months ago

First I applaud 12 Stone in opening the storehouse. Thank you and all the firms that you worked with in doing so.

After being in GA 20 traffic for more than 4 hours, quite frankly the traffic flow would have been far WORSE if it had been at the church.

One would think that the stadium should be able to handle a larger crowd than the church facilities and seeing the traffic backed up from EVERY direction so SOLIDLY was an experience I’ve never seen before on ANY shopping day in metro GA– new definition for GRIDLOCK, it looked like I-75 when the pass was closed for snow a few years back. The mall traffic really wasn’t the factor most would think (I came through there too - parking open) but the traffic on 20 was so backed up that the drivers who wanted access to 85 in either direction from GA 20 were indeed tested to the max. I watched cars drive AGAINST GA 20 oncoming traffic from the 85 South exit ramp, so they could get onto the 85 South ON RAMP! I had thought that Brandsmart had something to do with the volume but in passing it - NOT so. (I took back all the bad juju I sent their way)

Finally get adjacent to the Stadium and listening to the PA of a Gwinnett cruiser repeatedly state “the event was closed – drive on” (some officer will be VERY HOARSE tomorrow) and still seeing people try to enter the stadium just stops you in your tracks. From the road, you could see some of the church helpers faces and they appeared to be stunned. The group could have easily passed out triple what they had and still would have closed down quickly. I could imagine the frustration of the surrounding neighborhoods, because I saw enough of it in the drivers around me. But after seeing this, I hope that everyone who wanted to go to the mall thanks their lucky stars their minds weren’t focused on other needs at Christmas.

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JV 3 years, 5 months ago

Concur with Mary. This is a noble cause. However, it caused major traffic choas from both directions along GA 20/Buford Drive. Gwinnett police were of little help. Looked liked they were just not prepared for the masses of cars and trucks. The situation was close to causing road rage among drivers and no telling how much pollution was increased due to all large volume of stalled traffic. Over three hours from Buford to the stadium. We could have been in Birmingham or Greenville in that time. Do it somewhere please.

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katrun44 3 years, 5 months ago

We live 7 miles from the Mall of Georgia. Our daughter works there. It took her over a freakin' hour to get to work today!!! I am all for helping the needy/unemployed/homeless, but someone totally F'ed up the planning of this! I mean really? A food give-away a week before Christmas, on a Saturday, next to the biggest Mall in the southeast...REALLY!!!!! Hey, I don't want to sound ugly, but how much money did these did these people spend in gas $$? Was it worth it for them to spend all that time in line to get food?? The church did a piss poor job of planning this.

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Rocket1300 3 years, 5 months ago

My family sat in the traffic mess for four hours, only to find out it was closed. I scored a personal win by not going (slept in). We see it as a blessing, knowing that God placed a needy (er) family ahead of mine. I'm not unemployed, but only working part time. We could have used this blessing, but I trust God has directed those resources to another family.

With that said, I would only suggest to the great staff at 12Stone do this: Next year, with the help of local charities and Schools: Set up a registration starting in the fall and use this registration to organize pick ups and traffic flow. Many folks wasted precious resources to get to this event only to be turned away (by some very rude LEO's). Many folks wasted Gas for nothing.

12Stone, I applaud your efforts. Please consider registration efforts next year.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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R 3 years, 5 months ago

WOW… Just WOW - there are no words… Something besides the weather outside is FRIGHTFUL alright.

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dav 3 years, 5 months ago

And here I was thinking food for hungry families trumped peoples inconvenience

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Sthrnldy 3 years, 5 months ago

This was more than an inconvenience as hundreds (underestimate) of people were paralized in traffic, not just around this congested area, but the effects of this logistic nightmare were far reaching. I was further up 316 around this time period and it had an effect on me. There are probably many untold stories that we will never hear where "inconvenience" would be an understatement.

I know of a particular family that desperately needed the help but were unable to get there because of the traffic. Then there are the widespread reports of the greedy and not the needy that bullied there way to get something for free that they did not deserve. The plague of entitlement is destroying our country.

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Sthrnldy 3 years, 5 months ago

If anyone knows of a family that was not served, might I suggest purchasing a Kroger or Publix gift card for those in need. The particular family I know of that could not get to the event yesterday as I mentioned. They are too prideful and private to ask the help of friends and family. Our family purchased a Kroger gift card and sent it to them anonymously.

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Oliver 3 years, 5 months ago

Your are a saint.

I thought I knew of most of the saints and deeds, but I have never heard of St. hrnldy. I have a new saint for my list. God bless you and your good deeds.

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Sthrnldy 3 years, 5 months ago

Trust me.. I am no Saint! I just think after what happened yesterday, people should realize that individulas can silently have a greater impact on their friends and neighbors. Look around you, most people that are "in need" have self inflicted wounds. It is easy to spot those that are truely deserving and it doesn't take much to help them.

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kmsimpson 3 years, 5 months ago

To many of us, this was way beyond an "inconvenience". I wasted $40 worth of gas driving 7 miles. That money now needs to be made up from another part of my finances, in this case, OUR Christmas dinner. So now, instead of simply helping some folks, they have cause my family to not exactly go hungry, but to do without much of the dinner I had planned.

This was much more than an "inconvenience" to many of us.

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spider7735 3 years, 5 months ago

While the traffic may have caused an inconvenience to all of us, I think it serves a message that we all need to hear. The service that this church did wasn't perfect - it had flaws of course. The difference is that they actually took the risk of people getting upset, traffic (which I think was a slight oversight - I sat in traffic for about 2 hours and I wasn't even going to the mall or highway 20 area), and a host of other things to help others. Yes, there were problems - but when was the last time one of us tried to pull off something that big? And the traffic wasn't that bad - just like when there is a game in town at the Dome - usually don't hear people complaining about traffic to a Falcons game.

I applaude the church for doing something that was risky, but the long term effects will trump the afternoon of sitting in traffic any day.

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