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Filling the Gap

Field Report by Lauryn Vickers

NORTH CAROLINAEdie and her husband, Robert, have poured into their community for decades. Self-sufficient and hardworking, there was never any indication they would ever become a struggling family in America. They both worked in the medical field as EMS first responders for 20 years. In fact, that’s how they met and fell in love. The couple now has a son, 10-year-old Robbie.

After years of lifting patients into ambulances, Edie and Robert began to feel the effects the strenuous work took on their bodies. Edie eventually had a neck operation, while Robert received surgery for both his neck and back. In fact, Robert’s injuries have permanently disabled him, and he no longer works. Edie transitioned out of the EMS field and into retail.

But when COVID-19 hit the United States, it rocked Edie’s steady income. “Of course, they had to lay people off,” Edie explained. “I lost my job because of the pandemic.” Because of this, they experienced the sad plight that a struggling family faces in our current economy.

A Family Struggling Without income in America

The new normal Edie and Robert were thrust into took an immediate toll on their family. With no income, they applied for government assistance. But these meager subsidies didn’t provide enough for the entire family.

That’s when Edie learned of Operation Blessing partner Eastern Star Church of God in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. When COVID-19 shook the lives of families like Edie’s in the community, Eastern Star set-up a regular food distribution to feed hundreds of struggling men and women every single week. The groceries your kindness helped provide are being safely delivered into trunks of cars and, in some cases, directly to front doors. Your generosity means families can feel confident that they’ll have food during these uncertain times!

“It saved us—literally!” Edie exclaimed.


Ministry director George Brackett has served his community for over two decades and has seen a significant increase in the need for food in the wake of COVID-19.

“In this city, we have a lot of folks that are hungry,” George explained. “A lot of people have lost their jobs. And that’s what gives me a stronger drive to push through this. We don’t turn anybody down.”

In fact, Edie has been so inspired by the compassion of Operation Blessing partners that she has also committed to caring for other people in her community that can’t make the trip to the distribution site. Your faithful support is making ripple effects through Elizabeth City!

“Thank you,” said Edie. “That’s the biggest thing anybody can say.”

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