Free BBQ fundraiser for Union Gospel Mission

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF) – “My wife actually came up with the idea about eight years ago to do a barbecue on Labor Day. Not everybody does something so the clutter is not quite as much there.”

The Union Gospel Mission’s had its seventh annual free barbecue fundraiser Monday.

Executive Director John Rector said the most common question he gets is how can it be a fundraiser if it’s free.

“Well I struggled for weeks trying to figure out how much to sell and how much to charge and finally one night the Lord said just give away. So that’s what we do. I’ll go out and raise the money before and to pay for everything so it doesn’t come out of our budget and we set up out here and give away free barbecue plates and ask people to give,” said Rector.

He said this money helps with serving the homeless community and their grace program.

“We take guys mostly off the street. They come in and stay with us and residential. They live there and we just are there to help them learn how to live their lives in the right way. Make good life decisions get them out in the workforce, get them back on the tax rolls and that’s our goal just to see their life change,” said Rector.

He said the goal is to do $5000 or more, but they are doing better than they did last year during the pandemic.

“This time last year we were kind of right in the heart of the Covid pandemic and so it was a little harder year. It’s great this year and probably on par or a little better than normal,” said Rector.

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