A sincere act of kindness goes a long way. Sometimes, it goes viral.
The MCGI Free Store — a groundbreaking initiative of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) to help indigents in these challenging times — took social media by storm last April 2021.
On April 9, Sis. Lovely Sotto, an MCGI Free Store volunteer, shared photos and videos of the event on Facebook.
She shared photos of meticulously arranged grocery items, rice, and other basic needs on shelves and stationed on tables at the MCGI Free Store branch in Pamplona Tres, Las Piñas City.
“When the rich help their fellowmen, that’s good,” Sis. Sotto wrote on Facebook. “But when the poor help those who are also poor, that’s extraordinary.”
In one of her photos, Sis. Lovely showed the MCGI Free Store branch in Las Pinas was festive, amplified by praise songs people could hear in the background.
As of this writing, her post received more than 37,000 likes and was shared 29,000 times.
Sotto added: “We are unprofitable servants. Thanks be to God for the opportunity to serve Him.”
The MCGI Free Store offers indigents the liberty to select the items they need based on their judgment. This setup is contrary to how relief operations are conducted, where pre-packed goods are distributed to beneficiaries.
MCGI Free Store staff distribute coupons with assigned point value to purchase items to keep things in order. All of the items available in the Free Store are willingly donated by the brethren in the Church.
Conducted globally between April 7–10, 2021, the MCGI Free Store served 77,558 recipients in 2,030 stores — an enormous increase compared to the figures obtained during the March 2021 launch. The total number of given items is 1,431,829.
Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel Razon conceptualized the MCGI Free Store more than two decades ago to assist the poor and indigents.