Adhering to the time-tested motto of "there's strength in numbers," six Pickerington churches joined forces Sunday, Sept. 29, to be a catalyst for change on both a local and global scale.
ACTS, which stands for Active Christians Transforming Society, is a coalition of area churches that works to transform society by taking on intensive projects that have an immediate and long-term impact.
On Sept. 29, ACTS worked with Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief agency, to package meals to send throughout the world.
"We raised enough money to package 80,024 meals that will feed children across the world," said Kelly Zimmerman, ACTS organizer.
The participating churches included C3 Church, Grace Lutheran, Peace United Methodist, Pickerington Christian, Trinity Life Center and Violet Baptist, which hosted the event.
An estimated 340 people turned out at Violet Baptist for the packaging of the meals, which will be transported by Stop Hunger Now to a country with extreme poverty and hunger.
"We do end up finding exactly where (the meals) go," Zimmerman said.
"Last year, our meals went to Uganda," she said.
Zimmerman said Stop Hunger Now distributes the meals as part of school feeding programs in whatever country they go to -- thus, ACTS is transforming minds as well.
"They're distributing the meals in the schools. If children are educated, it can change the whole culture," Zimmerman said.
Each meal, which costs about a quarter and is primarily rice-based, is "life-sustaining and fortified with extra nutrients and vitamins," Zimmerman said.
The gym inside Violet Baptist Church was converted into a factory where an assembly line of volunteers divvied up tasks by forming into packaging, weighing, sealing and shipping stations.
ACTS made a local impact as well, collecting 3,085 items and delivering them to the PCMA Food Pantry in Pickerington for distribution to families in need.
Zimmerman said it was a team effort all the way around.
"Look at what we can do together. It is exciting the impact we'll have from Pickerington, Ohio."
She said churches doing away with denominational affiliations and partnering for the greater good as one can make a difference.
"I feel we're really demonstrating in our community what it means to know unconditional love," Zimmerman said.
"We want to share it and show it.
"We really want to shine a light outside our churches and in our community," she said.