Hwashin, First Assembly of God team up to aid families

Published 6:10 am Saturday, December 26, 2015

With the number of hungry citizens across the nation growing each day, the desire to help has continued to increase.

On Tuesday, a collaboration of two organizations helped feed many residents of Butler County, and gave volunteers the chance to make a difference.

Hwashin America Corporation and the Greenville First Assembly of God saw a need in the community and decided to come together to meet it.

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“We got the feel from Hwashin that they wanted to do something special to reach out to where the needs are, so we teamed up with them,” said Lane Simmons, pastor of First Assembly of God. “We want to say a special thanks to Hwashin America for helping make this happen. This is something we’ve had on our hearts for months, and we think it’s a way to let our community know we care about them and they’re special.”

The idea came to Josh Simmons, human resources manager at Hwashin America, after attending one of the company’s monthly meetings. Many of the workers wanted to come together to help the community in some way, so they began to brainstorm possibilities.

“It kind of just came about,” said Josh Simmons. “Our team members do round table meetings each month and they kind of give ideas that they would like to see the company do and things we can improve. They wanted to somehow reach the community as well. Based off those ideas, we talked with our CEO and CFO, and that’s how we reached out to the church.”

First Assembly of God partnered with the Montgomery Area Food Bank (MAFB) in order to get the food for distribution. The MAFB collects food from many different avenues including manufacturers, local retail stores, food drives and then provides the food collected to churches and non-profit organizations all across 35 Alabama counties. Through the MAFB, these groups are able to buy mass quantities of food at a reduced price in order to make the most of the distribution process. Those interested in participating were asked to contact the church beforehand and fill out an application to have their names put on a list.

The groups constructed more than 160 boxes of food for those in need around the community, and the boxes were given out Tuesday night.

“We were really pleased to partner up with the local community and give back,” said Josh Simmons. “It gives the community a sense of involvement. It was mostly the workers’ idea to come up with a way to give back to the needs of our community. There are needs everywhere you look around, and what better time to do that than the holidays?”