Desire to help others keeps friends together during pandemic

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EVERGREEN, Colo. – Rain. Snow. Sleet. Wind. Bad weather can’t stop Lis Pendley and her friends from their monthly get-togethers, collecting items for the food bank at the Evergreen Christian Outreach (EChO).

“This is just a piece of us,” Lis said while pointing out the group of women joining her on a snowy Monday morning in early May. “It varies from month to month.”

The first Monday of every month, Lis and her friends collect donations outside Evergreen’s Church of the Hills. Their regular collections for EChO are just the latest way this ever-changing group of women is reaching out to help others. Many of them started out by getting together every week to make burritos for Mean Street Ministries 20 years ago.

“We decided, Monday and Tuesday nights, that we needed a way to get them to open their doors. So, we brought burritos and we would pray with them,” Lis remembers.

This latest effort started during the pandemic when they could no longer gather together to make those burritos. Since the EChO food bank serves about 1,000 people in Evergreen and surrounding communities, Lis decided her group’s best option would be to get together, socially distance, and collect food and other items for those in need. Now, once a month, Lis opens up the trunk and doors of her car in the church parking lot and fills it with donations. When her car is full, friends’ cars are full.

Lis’ friends call her selfless.

“You know she thinks of everybody,” says friend and fellow-volunteer Monica Rider. “She’s feeding the homeless and the working poor and you know she’s not gonna stop. Not gonna stop.”

For Monica, the mornings of hard work and inclement weather are worth it just so she can see the smiles on the faces of the people who ultimately benefit the generosity of her and her friends.

“The relief of knowing they can feed their family. Oh, it’s huge.”

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