By Tammy Schneider
Centre of Hope Victory Church, with a congregation of just 50 members, is having a very big impact on shoppers and business owners with its gift card giveaway program.
The church had been setting aside money, earmarked for future church projects, when the pandemic began. Co-pastors Tina and Brian Drysdale and their congregation were unanimous in deciding that some of this money should be used to support the community, and the business people within it. They decided on a budget of $9,000, part of which would be used to purchase gift cards from various downtown businesses, and pass them on to people in need to use. Services were purchased for hair salons, bakeries, gift stores and restaurants, as well as others. The remaining money was directly donated to Drop-in at the Bridge and Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey.
“We are trying to target local business owners and privately-owned businesses downtown,” said Tina. “We know the businesses are really struggling.”
Once purchased, the cards were distributed through two channels. The church approached the principals of local schools and asked them to distribute the cards as they saw fit, to families that might be struggling at this time and could use a helping hand. The Drysdale’s also asked their own church members to look to their friends and neighbours and see if anyone was in need.
“We want to be a part of this community and support it,” said Tina. “They (church members) have been so excited to see the reaction of business owners and how thankful they are. It’s amazing how God works.”