'We want to let them know we love them': Church members reach out to homeless

Walk of Love Ministry has been helping its community for 17 years

By Paul Giorgio - Producer

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Walk of Love Ministry in Orlando has been helping their community for 17 years.

Twice a month the community room at Carter Tabernacle Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Orlando hosts what can only be described as a sandwich assembly line. 

Members call themselves the Walk of Love Ministry, but to watch them, it's more like a sprint. Ham and turkey sandwiches are made quickly and bagged up in seconds. Their deadline, lunchtime, is approaching. 

Volunteer Doris White is at the head of a large folding table. She's spreading a thin layer of mayonnaise on fresh white bread. "They're moving quick today," White smiled. "I can't get the bread done fast enough."

Ministry President June Bell Moore is at the opposite end, counting the completed bagged lunches. They've just about reached their goal.

"We're serving 120 people," Moore said. "A hundred twenty homeless people." 

A short time later, the group piles into a handful of cars and trucks and makes several stops in the neighborhood nearby.

Their first stop, a corner along Orange Blossom Trail, is a hot parking lot next to a busy street. A group of men and women walk over from under the shade of a nearby tree. Alicia Rollerson greets them with a smile, a hug and an offer of cold bottled water.

"Would you like a hygiene pack?" Rollerson asks, pointing to a car with its trunk open. That's where another volunteer is passing out clothes and toiletry items.

"We come out to be a blessing to them and instead we are blessed," Rollerson said.

Moore walks over to a business nearby to let people know lunch is waiting.

"We just have to give them a heads-up, let them know we're out here and they come from everywhere," Moore said. "It's a blessing for me to be able to come out and do something for someone else."  

The group was nominated for the News 6 Getting Results Award by viewer Cathy Mosholder.

"I have had the privilege of helping these amazing people," she wrote in an email. "They are a precious part of the community." 

In less than an hour all the lunches have been given out. 

"We're just so thankful it was a successful day," Rollerson said. "We heard some good stories and encouraged and prayed for some folks that are struggling right now."

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