Hundreds of people lined up at the Star Gospel Mission in frosty temperatures this morning in hopes of getting a $50 gift card to a local grocery store.
The mission gave away 700 cards this morning and will give away an additional 300 to local churches and charities, executive director William K. Christian said.
Deborah Barnett got in line at 10 p.m. Sunday to make sure she got a card when the doors opened at 7:30 a.m.
This made the third year in a row she’s participated in the card give away. Snuggled beneath a blanket and wearing a hat, gloves and thick coat, she said she was grateful that this year’s cold was easier to endure than last year’s.
Barnett recently had back surgery, and she wasn’t sure she’d make it out this year.
“I decided I’d come out and give it a try,” Barnett said with her walker in hand. “If it’s meant for me I’ll get a card and it will be a big help to me. But if I don’t then I won’t worry too much about it.”
Karen Simmons waited in line with 6 family members. The group got in line late Saturday.
“We come every year, so I knew the line been crowded,” Simmons said.
She said the wait is worth the extra help the mission provides.
A 25-year-old man stood in line for hours only to be turned around by workers due to the mission’s requirement that recipients be 30 years old or older. The age limit was instituted in recent years to help shorten the line.
The last card was given out about 8:30 a.m. The next person in line had been waiting since about 8 a.m.