Local church group spreads more than just peanut butter and jelly, offering hope to others

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Many in the Tennessee Valley use Sundays for family time. At Willowbrook Baptist Church in Huntsville, some of those families gather together to make sandwiches for people they've never met.

Austin Cross is one of them. Cross is proud of his sandwich-making skills, but he and his team are more proud of where these sandwiches are going.

"To the poor," Cross explained. "I think it's good so they can eat, they don't have to waste their money."

The group gathers each Sunday night to spread more than just peanut butter and jelly for organizations like Manna House.

"It doesn't have to be something really big. It can be something really small; to do that and share that love with others," Program Coordinator Jason Elmer said.

They gather in a home across from their church and make hundreds of these meals. A venture that started last year after Elmer visited Manna House with his family.

"We have to make all these sandwiches, that's part of what we do and hand out all the time," Elmer said of those working at Manna House. "So we said, you know what, we could come together on Sunday evenings, at least once a week, and do your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches."

So began the process of helping out, slice by slice.

"It's the blessing of that you receive of being able to give to others and not the receiving," Elmer said.

But families say they do receive in return for their offerings

"Especially those that have the young kids, it's instilling in them the meaning of serving and our call to love others," Elmer said.

Willowbrook Baptist Church's Crew delivers the sandwiches to Manna House every Monday. Together, they have made more than 22,000 sandwiches in one year.

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