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Congregation stimulates economy

Two pastors are again giving out money to show businesses they have support in recession.

June 30, 2010|By Michael Miller, michael.miller@latimes.com

The collection plate at Robinwood Church has been teeming the last few months. But it's not to fund repairs to the building or help a member in need.

Instead, the money that has piled up during Sunday services aim to boost the local economy.

Last year, Pastor David Housholder and Executive Pastor Bob Black held a charity drive one Sunday, giving $10 in cash to the first 100 adults who arrived for service and asking them to spend the money at a local business with a card for the manager or owner identifying the money as a gift from Robinwood.

This Sunday, Housholder and Black plan to celebrate the Fourth of July by doing the same thing. And while the church provided all the money for the first Economic Stimulus Sunday, the congregation has footed much of the cost for Round 2.

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"We'd love to do this every month," Black said. "One Sunday a month, that's part of our goal."

When Robinwood did the drive last year, Housholder said, the church urged congregants to spend the money at a local business, but didn't require that the business reside in Huntington Beach. He noted that he gave his $10 to a shoeshiner at Los Angeles International Airport.

The real intent of the Stimulus Sundays, he said, was to show business owners that they had another supporter during tough economic times.

"It's not a charity or 'pay it forward' type of thing," Housholder said. "We believe in the local businesses, and we want them to know that it's been a long, discouraging couple of years, but we want to encourage them."

Among those who participated the first time was Luthor Nelson, who lives in Hacienda Heights and has driven to Sunday services since Robinwood opened four years ago. Nelson brought his $10 — and his card — to a Mexican restaurant in Westminster, and the staff's reaction made him eager to do it again.

"They were just thrilled that a church would do something like that to bring in business," Nelson said. "They were just thrilled."

If You Go

What: Economic Stimulus Sunday

Where: Robinwood Church, 5082 Argosy Ave., Huntington Beach

When: 9:30 a.m. Sunday

Information: (714) 421-8130 or http://www.robinwoodchurch.com

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