Amy Wealing, member of Remington UMC, had a busy spring ahead of her. In addition to starting a new job, Amy was looking forward to attending graduation events for her 18-year-old daughter, Cassady. Just days before she was scheduled for a vaccine appointment in April 2021, Amy tested positive for COVID and was admitted to the hospital.

She remained in the hospital for 45 days. During this time, Cassady provided health updates and cared for their home. 

Wilma Clark, Chair of the Missions Committee at Remington UMC, and another church member felt like God was calling them to help the Wealing family. When they brought the idea of hosting a fundraiser to Pastor Cathi Parish, she recalled a family that brought her a delicious chicken dinner when she moved to Remington just eight months prior. 

Cathi reached out to the Taulman family, who own a catering business in town and are members of Remington UMC. Taulman Catering is well known in the community for providing great chicken dinner fundraisers. Ann Taulman, who has known Amy for most of her life, was eager to help. However, they only had a few Sundays remaining on their catering calendar.

Could they pull off this event on such short notice? 

In just 12 days, the community rallied together to make it happen. Originally, Taulman Catering planned on preparing enough chicken for 300-350 meals, but based on the way word was spreading, Ann decided to increase that number to 450. 

On the day of the event, cars lined the roads for blocks waiting to pick up their meals from the drive through line. Pastor Cathi described how some cars only had a few people in them, but ordered over 10 meals to bring back to their families. About half way through the event, Ann knew they were going to run out of chicken, so she sent her son to bring back more chicken from their facilities to prepare.

Cars entered the church parking lot to place their orders.

Volunteers had their hands busy packing the meals in to-go containers in the fellowship hall. Along with some members of the church, there were new faces who showed up to support Amy and Cassidy. The Missions Committee was encouraged to see some of Cassady’s friends join the effort in packing meals for the fundraiser. 

Volunteers packed meals inside the church.

Amy, who was watching via Facebook live while recovering in the hospital, said, “The benefit dinner was a sight to be seen and so full of love – from those that put it together and helped that day to the community that lined the streets.”

By the end of the event, they served 700 meals and had enough chicken to serve all but a few cars. The money raised was given to Amy and Cassady to cover the costs of bills, groceries, and other needs while Amy was in the hospital. 

Pastor Cathi said, “People here are generous in a way that is really outstanding. It tells me that people really do still want to help their neighbor and want to love their neighbor the way that Jesus loves them.” 

Amy has recovered from COVID and returned home from the hospital in time to enjoy the remainder of Cassady’s senior year. 

Amy remembers, “I just could not believe it- that many people coming to support someone they barely know or don’t know at all because that’s just what a great community does. You couldn’t help but to beam with joy and thankfulness- we need more of that positivity to spread- spread the love- that day was so full of love. The two little words of thank you could never express my gratitude.”