Police arrested a Christian grandma for feeding the homeless in a public park. They say it is illegal to distribute packed foods in parks for “charitable purposes.” The Grandma is speaking out and fighting for her ministry.
Norma Thornton told CBN News that she would not stop doing good. “I will not stop,” she said. “I don’t care what they say. They are wrong, and I’m right. One of the ways I know I’m right is: I’ve prayed about it.”
The 78-years-old believes that God is with her, supporting her to be a blessing to those in need. “Every time I’m in doubt, something happens,” she explained. “Suddenly, there’s a box of food or a bag of food or whatever it is I need. Blankets showed up here at my doorstep just a few days ago. The temperature dropped quite a bit [and] many of the people were very cold.”
Norma continued, “So, God … put it on somebody’s heart to put that food at my doorstep, or that the bedding, or the hygiene stuff.”
She and her husband had been giving warm meals to the homeless and the hungry at the Bullhead City Community Park for four years. But, last March, the kind couple were arrested for violating the law. Law enforcers explained that they must secure a “permit” to do charitable deeds. The expensive permit, though, only grants one feeding once a month.
Bold in faith
Police eventually dropped the charges, but Norma was quite shaken about it. She is still continuing her ministry but moved it to a private location. Although she is grateful for the neighborhood, she is saddened that it is not ideal for the people who really need help.
The Institute for Justice works with Norma to help her fight her case as she sues the city ordinance. She claims that it violates her civil rights.
Ultimately, Norma’s great motivation for feeding the hungry comes from her faith in Jesus Christ. “The number one motivation is my Savior, Jesus Christ, and His Father. We are told repeatedly the first and most foremost commandment is love. “Love thy neighbor. Love your fellow man. He [said] several times, ‘What you do to the least of my people, you so do to me.’ That’s basically my motivation.”