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The Heart to Heart ministry will be hosting a London first responders appreciation event on Saturday, July 13 at the London Fire Department located at 911 Fire Rescue Drive.

The event, which is being held for the London Fire Department, London Police Department, London EMS, Kentucky State Police, local 911 dispatchers and Laurel County Sheriff’s Department, will start at 11 a.m. and is scheduled to last until 2 p.m., as members of Heart to Heart wash first responders’ service or personal vehicles and also grill them hamburgers and hot dogs.

“It’s our way to administer love and kindness to folks because you never know what someone is going through,” said Brock Allen, the leader of Heart to Heart ministry. “You never know what someone is dealing with in their life.”

Heart of Heart is a three-year old ministry within Parkway Ministries in Corbin, and it is co-founded by Allen and Parkway’s minister, Mark Hisle. Allen said the group is a kindness ministry focused on serving people with no strings attached, just trying to help people from a genuine place in their heart.

“We try to always point what we do back to the love that God has put in our hearts,” Allen said.

Allen said this service opportunity stemmed from the idea of serving people who serve the community 24/7. He said he was being reminded of this on the Fourth of July, even after the event had already been scheduled, as he was sitting on his front porch and hearing sirens go off.

“Sometimes the biggest payment or sense of gratitude is somebody saying thank you,” said Lieutenant Dylan Tuner of the London Fire Department. “So, somebody organizing a function to show their appreciation means a lot and means that when you go out and you serve the community or you help people, they really appreciate it.”

Allen said he knows people appreciate first responders, but while saying something is nice, doing something for them goes the extra mile. He said other ways to show appreciation for first responders could be donating to Shop With a Cop, donating groceries to firefighters who live at the station or even sending someone a thank you card.

“Every day is a good day to do something nice for others and share the love of God,” Allen said. “It’s living the good life.”

Allen said Heart to Heart tries to stay busy with one to two events per month.

The ministry serves in a variety of ways by doing things like showing up to a low-income area to host a block party and feed everyone in the area, giving free car washes, giving out hot beverages during cold weather or going to a laundry mat with over $50 worth of quarters and offering to pay on customers’ behalf. Allen said they do not accept donations because they are trying to show people the acts come from the kindness of their heart with no desire for money.

Allen said anyone can help serve with the Heart to Heart ministry, not just those who attend Parkway. If someone is interested in serving, they can call the Parkway office at 606-528-8100 and ask when the next event is or email Allen at ba1835@att.com.

ccoyle@sentinel-echo.com

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