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Citrus Heights church offers drive-thru servings of hope, ice cream


Pastor Dan Nalley hands out ice cream to a line of cars outside Church of the Harvest on Wednesday night. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip–
Volunteers with Church of the Harvest handed out hundreds of individually wrapped ice cream snacks to a line-up of cars in Citrus Heights Wednesday night in an effort to bring hope during the pandemic.

Set up outside the church’s location at 8127 Auburn Blvd., volunteers took orders from vehicles and brought the frozen treats out in plastic bins to minimize contact. Other church members held signs to attract passersby on Auburn Boulevard to stop in for a treat.

Pastor Dan Nalley told The Sentinel the outreach was a safe way to brighten people’s day during troubling times. A total of 1,000 ice cream snacks were on hand to pass out during the event.

“They can come in safely, pick up an ice cream, and hopefully find some hope, find a break a little bit from all the monotony,” Nalley said.

The simple gesture drew about 40 volunteers and a long line of vehicles through the parking lot of Grand Oaks Shopping Center.

Nalley said the church has organized other outreaches by bringing toys to children at Christmas. He said the COVID-19 restriction have made his ministry more difficult.

Overall as a community, we’ve seen a lot of great people step up and help,” he said. “To be honest, it’s very challenging: you can’t touch anyone, you can’t talk to anyone, you can’t even have church inside.”

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