Grilling with the guys may seem like a way to spend your day off, but Wednesday nearly two dozen Bridgestone employees were working the grill for a good cause.
“This is our day off,” says Josh Crouch. “We came to give our time and help some good folks that need help.”
It's their de facto Saturday and some of them drove hours to help Patsy Skinner feed people from her porch.
“They could be bowling or something,” says Skinner, “but this. They're here, they did the cooking, they helped to serve. “
Every Wednesday she opens her gate to the hungry and the homeless, feeding as many as 200 of them; typically she does all the cooking on her own.
This Wednesday, however, she had 19 extra sets of hands to help.
“It's very hard work, but the rewards are overwhelming,” says Gary Adams, a volunteer and Bridgestone employee, “to see the smile on the kids' faces and a hot meal.”
“It just blesses my heart to think people would care,” Skinner says. “They don't know these people that come in the gate.”
The volunteers don't have to know them to know they're making a difference.
“To see them lining up patiently waiting for everything to be prepared, to see they appreciate us helping them,” says Derrick Jenkins, another employee.
Jenkins is right that those being served appreciate the support.
“I appreciate them doing the things they're doing helping people,” says Ann Dixon, who stops by for meals for herself and her children, “doing the things they're doing, it makes me feel happy.”
And while the families are taking home plates of food, the workers are leaving happy with what they have.
“The things we take for granted, these people pray for,” Adams says.
And the workers won't be taking those things for granted tonight.
“It breaks my heart to see the little kids like that, struggling to have good clothes to wear and shoes and to have a warm meal,” says Crouch. “I have a little girl of my own and it touches me.”