Pay It Forward: $300 Will Help Provide Thanksgiving To Hundreds

MOLINE, Illinois -- It's not Sunday, but Pastor Donnie Plemons is hard at work making sure his church's food pantry is full.

"We do about 20,000 pounds of produce," Donnie explained. "That's probably about a minimum and then about 15,000 to 20,000 pounds of other food."

That's every week. Helping him are dozens of people - including Shane Snyder.

"These people work tirelessly and very hard in making sure that these people are being fed and it's an amazing thing," Shane said.

An amazing thing started 28 years ago by Donnie, who Shane says is not a Pastor by profession... but by passion.

"I've seen a man start a congregation in a hotel board room and graduate to securing an old school and build a church and an ever growing congregation," said Shane. "He's built an amazingly successful food pantry that has two walk-in coolers, a freezer, bread, a produce run, and more."

It's where members of Grace Bible Fellowship Church learn that "service" is not just a word used to describe what happens once a week.

It's what happens every day.

And on Thursday, November 17th, 2016, Shane wants Pastor Donnie to know just how much that means to him.

"WQAD News 8 and Ascentra Credit Union, along with myself and everybody here, would like to honor you for your tireless efforts of Paying It Forward with this $300," said Shane. "This is for you - for everything you do."

It's perfect timing, because every year - on the Saturday before Thanksgiving - more than 1,000 people line up for the church's annual Thanksgiving food drive. Trucks and tables are set up with boxes and bags of food so families around our area can get everything they need for the holiday.

"Everybody's welcome," said Donnie. "We give until it's gone."

"He doesn't know how to not give," added Shane.

With this year's drive just days away, we're giving to Donnie by paying it forward and keeping the circle going... day after day.

"Every day," said Shane. "That's the job. Well, it's his life and, you know, he makes me want to be a better man."

"$300 will cover a lot a lot of food," said Donnie. "Every penny is really appreciated. Every cent of it. We're really thankful"

Grace Bible Fellowship's food pantry is open three days a week - Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays - from 8am to 11am. The congregation also does a Christmas food drive and an Easter food drive.

"I'm very excited today to give you this money to Pay It Forward to Donnie," said Jennifer Naeve, Chief Marketing Officer for Ascentra Credit Union. "He embodies everything that we believe in at Ascentra of listening, caring, and doing what's right for other people."

If you know someone doing great things in the community, consider nominating them for the Pay It Forward Program by clicking here.