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Victory Community Church blessing West End residents one pizza at a time

Feb. 7—Take a generous donation, roll out an idea to help others and you wind up with a free pizza day in Washington's west end.

Victory Community Church plans to turn out 2,500 pizzas and deliver them to residents of that side of town on Saturday.

Organizer Mandy Stephens says the church originally was planning a pizza fundraiser to acquire some items for the recently built church. A donor put up the money and then the focus shifted to providing pizzas to the community.

"We are going to be knocking on doors Saturday and passing out a pizza or two, depending on the number of people in the house, to anybody that will open their door," said Stephens. "We do a lot of outreach, door-knocking in the west end and not everybody answers. We might end up with some pizzas left over."

Stephens says the church will not be hanging on to any surplus pizzas. The intent is to get them out to anyone who might be hungry.

"If we do, then we will take them to Jamestown Square and Highland Apartments," she said. "We will distribute them wherever we can, the Power House, Heaven's Kitchen, just different places where there are low-income individuals."

Organizers say they realize that putting out 2,500 pizzas in one day and getting them distributed to the community is going to take quite an effort, but Stephens says they have a plan.

"This is ambitious. We have 50-plus people that are taking part. We will have people making them that day," she said. "They will not be cooked. We will put them together and then deliver them so that if the family wants to cook them or freeze them, they can. While we are making them, we will have a system where there are four different vans out full of pizzas and serving them to the community."

The motivation behind the Saturday pizza event is not about recruiting or fundraising, but instead about members of the church fulfilling their mission.

"We want to be a blessing. We want to show the love of Jesus. At the Victory Community Church, we say love is the key. We want to bless somebody, we want to be a witness, we want to be an example of Christ. That's all we want. We want nothing in return. We just want to be a blessing," said Stephens. "I have been where they are. We read a lot about the lost, broken and addicted. It is about showing them there is a way out. Whenever you are in a dark place there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I strive to be that light."

For people in the west end to get the benefit of the pizzas, all they will have to do Saturday is answer the door.

"We are going to hit as many people as we can. We've got runners. We've got drivers. We understand not everyone will answer their door, nor everyone will be home, and there are going to be a number of people we will miss and won't be blessed with a pizza," said Stephens. "We want to be the hands of Jesus and we want to give the community a blessing and that is what we hope to do that day."