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Single mom battling kidney failure thankful for 'food parade' and prayers

Sometimes, it just feels good to go to church. The restrictions in place make that difficult for many right now, but a campaign to help others brought out hundreds.

JAMESTOWN, N.C. — A line of cars wrapped around the building. Dozens and dozens of people waiting for the parade to begin. 

“I was shocked to see so many were here before we even started,” said Pastor Jay Smith.

The parade wasn't exactly typical to what you may have seen. The drivers were there to drop off food. Jamestown Presbyterian Church set up the “food parade” in hopes of collecting necessities and other essentials for families in need.

"To be able to witness in our faith and to be responsible members of the community and helping someone less fortunate was really special,” said Pastor Smith.

About 75 cars pulled into the church parking lot, and church members wearing masks and gloves walked up to each car and unloaded supplies. Many people showed up with several boxes of food to donate while others brought everything from diapers and wipes to hand sanitizer and toilet paper. 

“It was really special to see all the people come through and show their love for others,” said Pastor Smith.

About eight church members and some social workers scooped up box after box for about an hour as cars continued to roll through the parking lot. Many of those that dropped off food honked and waved as church members grabbed the boxes and bags.

One of the people helping unload cars was Haleigh Autry. The social worker also assisted the church in identifying families that could use the donations. 

“With everything going on, to just being able to provide them some sort of assistance and help is nice,” said Autry.

After all the cars rolled through and the donations were collected, Autry and Pastor Smith loaded up a care package for one of the families who need it most. 

Bonita Filen is a single mother battling kidney failure. Filen goes to dialysis three days a week while taking care of her daughter who has Cerebral Palsy. 

“It means a lot to me because (the donations) help me when I can’t afford to buy things that I need,” said Filen.

The church has continued to assist families in the Jamestown community as this pandemic continues. 

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