110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Pat Andrews
posted Dec 20, 2013 - 3:32:03pm
A number of DeLand families will have a merrier Christmas, thanks to a business and a ministry coming together to make sure Christmas dinners (and breakfasts and lunches) will appear on tables this year.
Collins Cupboard and Food Pantry, a ministry of The Lighthouse Church in DeLand, has been helping families for nearly 30 years.
On Dec. 11, a team from Hyundai of DeLand brought the pantry $750 worth of food to make sure the pantry would have plenty of food to help folks get through the holiday season.
Warren Blackburn, general manager at the Hyundai of DeLand dealership, explained, "This is community."
Throughout the year, the dealership sets aside a little money from each vehicle sale to help somewhere in the community at holiday time. It's a way to thank you to the community, and it brings the team together through service, he said.
This year, Blackburn and the employees settled on the Collins Cupboard Food Pantry, which is open every Wednesday.
They drove to the church with a Hyundai pickup full of food staples, and helped church volunteers unload the food and store the items in the pantry, to the sincere thanks of pantry co-directors Gene and Robin Campbell.
Meanwhile, the line of people who came to get food began to build.
Goldie Collins and the late Kenneth Collins started the pantry out of their home in the mid-1980s, and the little ministry grew and grew.
"Mr. and Mrs. Collins would feed those that God sent across their path with whatever they had in their own pantry," Robin Campbell said.
The ministry later began operating at the church.
In 2009, Gene and Robin Campbell took the reins, continuing the Collins' legacy.
An average of around 130 people come to the pantry for help with food every week. And, thanks to community collaboration, the food is available.
Goldie Collins, now retired, came to the church Dec. 11 for the special delivery. She added her voice to the chorus of thanks.
"Whatever the need, we can't do it alone. It takes many hands willing to mobilize resources and to join with us in the fight against hunger in our community," Gene and Robin Campbell wrote in a thank-you letter to the Hyundai team.
It's not just about providing food; it's providing caring, and a shoulder to lean on when it's needed, Robin Campbell said.
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