West Ashley church treating Coast Guard crews, families to a day of moral support

Because of the partial federal government shutdown, Grace on the Ashley Church will serve hotdogs and hamburgers to Charleston Coast Guardsmen and their families feeling the financial strains of the Congressional standoff.

Greg Smith, lead pastor of Grace on the Ashley, said he has seen firsthand the hard work and dedication of the U.S. Coast Guard in the waters around Charleston and the sacrifices their families make on their behalf.

As a result, the West Ashley Church is seeking to boost the morale of the service men and women and their families with an Appreciation Day for the Charleston Area Coast Guard on Feb. 2 at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.

Rev. Smith, who is also a Coast Guard Reserve chaplain, said, “This event is a tangible way for us to let service members know their community loves them, stands with them and cares deeply about how their lives are being impacted by the government shutdown.” Rev. Smith is organizing the event along with Coast Guard Chaplain Bradley Spear.

Church members will serve hotdogs and hamburgers to 300 Coast Guardsmen and their families. The menu, however, will include side dishes from five catering companies. B. Gourmet, Beyond Expectations, Mosaic, Cru and Relish Distinctive will donate dishes, including pasta salad, cookies and baked beans. Children will play in Magnolia’s newly opened Children’s Garden and be entertained by costumed characters. The church is also collecting diapers, baby formula and gift cards for gas and groceries. Items can be left at Grace on the Ashley, 2014 Bees Ferry Road, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. To make a contribution, call the church at 843-556-6802.

Tom Johnson, Magnolia’s executive director, said when he heard about the church’s service project, “I knew immediately this was an event Magnolia could support. The mission of Magnolia and the Drayton Family is service to the community, and the Coast Guard exemplifies that every day.”

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