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Walmart, First United Methodist Church team up to thank Fort Smith frontline workers on MLK Day

With Walmart's help, First United Methodist Church was able to hand out a few hundred snacks to frontline workers in Fort Smith.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and to help combat some of the hardships of the Covid-19 pandemic, community members came together Monday (Jan. 18) in Fort Smith to say thanks to frontline workers. 

Hospitals in the area have been hit hard with Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations. In response, Walmart and First United Methodist Church wanted to let those fighting the virus know we're all in this together. 

"We have several people from our church that have family members, or they themselves are healthcare workers, and they're exhausted," Elizabeth Thames said. 

Elizabeth Thames, with First United Methodist Church, says their congregation wanted to help. 

"We got some very generous donations from Walmart, and made up some baskets," she said. 

Baskets filled with goodies and snacks went straight to the ICU and Covid-unit break rooms at Mercy Hospital and Baptist Health in Fort Smith.

Sweet and salty snacks, bottled water, and healthy drinks rounded out the food baskets. The baskets also contained restaurant coupons and notes of encouragement. 

A small gesture that Father Paul Fetsko with Mercy Hospital Fort Smith says makes a big impact. 

"It's a great morale boost for them knowing that the community is here and willing to help serve them," Fetsko said. 

A morning that Reverend Bud Reeves with First United Methodist Church says fitted for MLK Day as Covid-19 impacts everyone. 

“One of the things Dr. King said was that we are joined together in an inescapable web of mutuality," Reverend Reeves said. "This is a way that we can be part of the community. And the need here transcends race, class, and gender."

Even though all of the snacks have been passed out, First United Methodist Church is not done with this project of giving back. In just a few weeks, they will be meeting on the hospital campuses to pray for the frontline workers and the whole community of Fort Smith. 

With Walmart's help, First United Methodist Church was able to hand out a few hundred snacks to frontline workers in Fort Smith. 

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