A hot meal, something that seems so simple for some, but for others it can be a luxury.
The Jefferson Memorial Church is intended to be a place of worship, but come after school on a weekday and it’s cooking up something special.
Tina McGauely, along with her husband, Bishop Joseph McGauley, started the Destiny Outreach program.
It’s an opportunity for kids to attend after school and interact with other kids, work on homework, but most importantly, receive a hot meal.
“When you see the need, it gives me the energy to do it, and press on. Because sometimes this is the only hot meal the kids get,” Tina said.
Joseph said the rate of crime and drugs in the city is too high and he feels it’s the community’s responsibility to guide youth in the right direction.
Tina said they feed about 40-50 kids a day and it can cost up to $3,000 a month to feed such a big group.
Joseph said they rely on help from parishioners of the church and open donations.
Daniyelle Cosby, a volunteer at the church, said it’s a very welcoming environment, especially for kids who need extra support.
“Some of these kids the come here, they’re angry, they’re hungry. Nobody’s really paying attention to them. Its just the interaction.I think they just really need somebody to care,” Cosby said.
Her son, Noah, said he and his friends can play and have fun together, but they also learn manners and respect for others.
He also said watching his mom volunteer and seeing first hand how she’s helping local kids has taught him the importance of generosity.
“I think everybody needs to help each other in the world honestly, because nobody should be left out,” Noah said.
If you’d like to donate money or simply your time for these after school meals, contact Joe McGauley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or you can visit the church at 325 William Penn Ave., Johnstown, Pa.