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A work van and a church have new uses during this pandemic

An act of service is unfolding on the Kent and Ottawa County line, making a difference for hundreds of families.

GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Like many people, Rob Maskill is out of work during the coronavirus pandemic. He is usually going from hospital to hospital working with surgeons as part of his work for MedWest, which sells and distributes medical devices and implants.

Elective surgeries are on pause. So is MedWest's work. But just because the company's business is idle doesn't mean their delivery van is.

Maskill goes to church at Sunrise Ministries. Like MedWest, services at the church are on hold. For the time being, lead pastor Dan Fisher and the rest of the staff have turned the church into a food distribution site, and Maskill's company is helping deliver that food.

“MedWest stepped up just with our delivery van since it’s not in use," Maskill said. "We just loaded it up and delivered a bunch of food today.”

The food comes from Aldi, where a staff member at the church has connections. Love Inc and other churches are also helping out with the effort.

"That’s why we exist. Our mission is that we want to transform the world with God’s grace and love," Fisher  said.

"It’s not what we’re all looking forward to waking up to – a world of COVID 19. We look for the opportunities that are in those situations to do things that are helpful for the folks around us.“

Food distribution happens on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. at 7754 28th Avenue in Jenison. People don't need to get out of their cars. Staff members will load them up with food and hygiene items.

So far, the food distribution has helped 360 West Michigan families and Fisher expects that 125 more will be at the next event.

"It’s a big deal to take your church and say we’re going to turn it into a food distribution site," he said. "We’ve got volunteers packing bags for people they don’t even know. The little contributions and the big ones all over the place are the ones making this possible.”

The church is accepting food donations from Sunday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They also have a drop box for after hours donations, or if you'd prefer to make a monetary donation, you can find out how on their website.

"I think is just rewarding to be able to watch, seeing things shift to this ministry of serving others and putting our trust in things that, at the end of the day, are most important," Maskill said.

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