What better day to show the spirit of giving to help others in need than Sunday, and that spirit was thriving in Freeport.


On a beautiful sunny day, 13 churches banded together to collect food donations for the Freeport Area Church Cooperative as part of Food Pantry Sunday. Although each church set its own hours for the collection, the event started Sunday morning at some locations but didn't finish until late Sunday afternoon in other spots.


Crews of volunteers were available at each participating church to collect food and cash donations and also hand out bulletins or other information to keep church members updated on activities.


Clergy from the churches also were on hand to do a little giving as they offered blessings and prayers to the people in each vehicle as they drove through the collection line.


"It's a good way to get people involved and out of the house while also helping the community," said Lou Ann Stambaugh-Hayes who helped organize the effort at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. "St. Thomas has always been involved with FACC in their activities, and we even cook food at the shelter once a month."


Just down the road, another bunch of volunteers at Harmony United Methodist Church was dealing with a long line of vehicles containing their donations, but they also were there for another purpose as well.


"We have drive-thru church every Sunday," said Ann Robertson who was helping direct traffic. "The people drive up and give our Pastor Eddie Eddy a prayer and he gives them a blessing."


She said Harmony was happy to be part of the Sunday Food Pantry event since they already are involved with FACC on a regular basis.


"Dean (Wright) reached out to us and we're part of the co-op for FACC," Robertson said. "And our service is open to anybody if they want to drive through. We've had some people who aren't members donate today."


The spirit of generosity was evident as the Harmony crews approached each vehicle and needed more than one person usually to gather all of the food being donated from each person in line.


That spirit carries out into the community, too, which is something Robertson is particularly proud of.


"Our church cooks meals two to three Fridays a month at the shelter and the kids here do most of it," she said. "I'm amazed at the youth and how excited they are to step up and help like that."


As the cars rolled through the lines at both St. Thomas and Harmony, the clergy at both would offer a blessing and a friendly wave at those elderly folks who came along for a ride but didn't have to get out of their cars.


Church services may be canceled because of the COVID-19 virus, but that certainly didn't stop members from carrying out the messages heard inside on many Sundays.