When we find ways as a church to connect well with our community, it charges me up. Last night was one of those times.
Our community puts on a big parade every year to celebrate the city and it’s always well attended. Our church usually puts on some event to join in the celebration. Over the years we’ve tied to to giving away food on our parking lot and having a band play.
This year we took a different approach. Yafa Grill is around the corner from the church. On parade night their parking is completely cut off from traffic because of the parade and no one can get in or out for 2 hours. Yafa is a wonderful Middle Eastern place and Fouad cooks up some marvelous food. Every year he struggles to make it through and the parade night is not a “big business” night for him.
This year we approached him and asked if we could help. We would give him money to cook up samples and help defray his costs. We would make small flyers advertising this sample was courtesy of our church and Yafa Grill and he agreed to allow a coupon to be put on the back. Then our church volunteers would pass out samples along the parade route and tell people where it came from. Fouad also had us attach the small flyers to his takeout menu so people could see his full menu.
I told Fouad to just put a couple of chicken chunks per skewer or a couple of pieces of gyro meat per skewer and let people have a taste. Fouad wasn’t having it. He made whole gyro sandwiches and cut them in half. THAT was his sample size for the gyro. He then made FULL skewers of chicken as his “sample” as well. We could not possible have covered his costs for that night.
We passed out samples and were easily a big hit along the route.
As a pastor, it’s one of those nights where you watch people spring into action and help, wanting to bless a local business. You see a local business person perk up and see some ways to do some very simple marketing. It’s an incredible blessing.
My whole ride home I just couldn’t quit smiling.