Grateful for the service

Published 9:54 pm Thursday, July 20, 2017

Considering the news of the demise of Impact Suffolk, one is torn between being sorry for its loss and being grateful for all the good work it did in this city during its 22-year lifespan.

We choose to be grateful.

For the benefit of those who are new to the city or who might not have encountered it at some point during the past couple of decades, Impact Suffolk was an ecumenical organization devoted to spreading the Gospel and doing good things for people in the community.

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Perhaps best known for its Thanksgiving food giveaway, held annually in the parking lot behind the Farm Fresh on North Main Street, Impact Suffolk also made good on its name with a “March for Jesus” in the downtown area, a “Heaven’s Gates, Hell’s Flames” drama held several times and the Suffolk Summer Slam, which featured contemporary Christian music, performed a couple of times at local parks.

By the end of its run, Impact Suffolk involved 30 local churches and 14 local business, partnering to lift up the community.

Unfortunately, according to Win Anderson, a local minister who served as the organization’s president the past couple of years, financial support and participation in the administrative activities required for a nonprofit organization had dissipated in recent years. It’s a common story for such volunteer groups, whose hard work is often done by a few committed individuals who are also involved in many other community activities.

Anderson and the Impact Suffolk board hope the churches and businesses that have participated in the Thanksgiving food giveaway will find a way to continue that project, but it’s unclear what form it will take this year, if it happens at all.

Still, the city has much reason for gratitude. Through 22 years of service, Impact Suffolk has truly impacted the lives of many thousands of people.

We are sad to see it has come to an end, but we are grateful for the service.