Lexington church 'spreads the love' with Valentine's Day-themed dinner for homeless

Published: Feb. 2, 2019 at 11:13 PM EST
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Members of Lima Drive Seventh Day Adventist Church in Lexington put together a special dinner Saturday at the Catholic Action Center.

Titled "Hearts 4 Hearts," the meal was Valentine's Day themed, the church decorating the common room at the shelter with heart-shaped balloons and chocolates wrapped with Bible verses.

Winston Taylor, the church's pastor, said they didn't want to just feed the people there, they wanted to remind them they are important.

"We want to remind people that just because they might be going through a rough time now, or just because life might not be grand for them right now, that does not mean that they're not special. That does not mean that they're not important," Taylor said.

George Withers, who works at the Catholic Action Center and has himself experienced homelessness, said residents were excited to be treated to this special meal.

"Valentine's Day lifts up their spirits. They're all happy about it," Withers said.

The meal was a welcome change of pace for people at the shelter, who just days ago were grappling with how to keep hundreds safe and warm during the bitter cold snap.

Catholic Action Center officials said during the last four days of January, the shelter served more than 4,500 meals and provided more than 900 nights of shelter, thanks to the "overwhelming goodness, compassion, and generosity" of the community.

"When the going gets rough, we all come together and make it happen," Withers said.

Saturday's event also featured singing and raffle prizes.

Taylor said he hoped the meal provided people with a renewed sense of dignity.

"And what better time than Valentine's?" Taylor said. "A time of love, a time when everybody's talking about caring and being sensitive to other people's needs."