More Than 300 People Given Free Sanitation Products from Lake Wales Funeral Home
by James Coulter
Freedom Tour Food Bank and Caver Funeral Home are giving away free sanitation and cleaning products. More than 300 people waited in line since the break of dawn on Wednesday morning to receive free hand sanitizer, bleach, and other cleaning products from Caver Funeral Home.
For the past seven months, the Lake Wales funeral home has been offering free products to residents in need to help curtail disease during the ongoing pandemic. Linda Thompson, the funeral home director, has been overseeing these monthly giveaways and partnering with Freedom Tour Food Bank in Lake Wales to obtain donated items for distribution.
This is the seventh month the funeral home has hosted the community sanitation giveaway event. She said the event is held each month on different dates. They take enough of the supplies to the funeral home for the crowd of 300 to 400 people.
As a funeral home director, Thompson has seen her fair share of death, especially during the pandemic. Wanting to help curtail the number of COVID-related deaths, she reached out to Pastor Bobby Williams of Freedom Tour Church to have his church donate sanitation products for her to distribute.
Over the past seven months, his church has provided her with eight palates a month at least once a month, he said. She sends two trucks to their facility once a month, his volunteers load it up, and then some of them go there to help unload and distribute donations, he said.
As the country transitions from a time of pandemic to a time of recession and war, with plenty of anxieties looming over the heads of the public, Pastor Williams and his church, with the help of local volunteers like Thompson, are here to help people in their time of need, he said.
“Linda Thompson is a good friend and awesome volunteer,” Pastor Williams said. “She is a good-hearted woman who wants to help out and give back. She is doing a great job, [she is] a great partner, [and she has] great people who want to help out with the community and be a blessing to the community. And we see that in Linda, we see that with her. We see a good heart and good loving woman who wants to help give back.”
As for Thompson, she appreciates being able to assist people during these trying times. She has seen people arrive from as far as Frostproof and Babson Park to receive sanitation products through her free giveaways, and she hopes to continue giving to even more people.
“They come expecting a blessing and they know it can last them until the next month,” she said. “When I see people come up in wheelchairs, crutches, and bicycles, that it touches my heart and I have a ministry which is to help people. I enjoy helping people.”
The Freedom Tour is a disaster relief ministry founded by PastorWilliams. Outside of partnering with Caver Funeral Home to help people amid COVID-19 surge, Freedom Tour also partners with One More Child. Freedom Tour does two to 10 food drives across Polk County cities each week, feeding 3,000 to 5,000, Williams said.