FLINT-- Distributing food boxes is part of the daily routine for volunteers at the R. L. Jones Community Outreach Center in north Flint.
Manager Latrece Davis runs a tight ship from a well organized warehouse adjacent to Greater Holy Temple Church of God in Christ. Sandra Jones is first lady of the church and executive director of the outreach center.
"We can come in and fell good about your place," said Jones, referring to the new environment. A few short months ago, conditions were much different.
In July, Armstrong Williams toured the facility which had had no air conditioning, pallets and tarps for walls and a garage door that was in very poor shape.
"I couldn't believe that someone could operate in those kind of conditions," said Williams, whose Washington D.C.-based Howard Stirk Holdings company owns WEYI-TV, the NBC affiliate in Flint. Through the television station, Williams pulled together professionals to transform the outreach center's food pantry building.
"When we first came out and looked at this project, it was 90 something degrees outside and it was probably 120 in here," said Mike Anson with Goyette Mechanical. "Just real miserable conditions to work in and everybody here was toughing it out pretty well."
Goyette Mechanical donated and installed a brand new central air unit and ducting to provide even distribution and circulation.
“There wasn’t much here. I mean, it was a door but it was pretty much a see-through door and it had some major issues," said Chuck Richards with Dover and Company which removed the old garage door and installed a new, commercial grade, fully insulated door that opens and closes easily.
With a new garage door and central air system installed, the building needed a major upgrade to provide proper temperature control. Armstrong Williams paid to have a company install foam insulation on all walls and the ceiling. It was his gift to the church.
“They’re not like some ministers that you read about, in it for their own ego and self edification. They’re in it for the people," said Williams.
“He has done some much for the RL Jones Community Outreach Center, the people of Flint, and the Greater Holy Temple Church," said Jones. "I don’t really have words."
Jones considers Williams an angel who is answering her prayers to God. She is overwhelmed but truly grateful.