More Than Just BBQ:
In 1998, Prepared: The Gateway of the Northwest began Operation Holy Smoke as a way to counteract poverty and gang violence in the infamous Hilltop neighborhood in Tacoma, WA. This program would go on to feed BBQ dinners and supply groceries to thousands of people in urban communities around the city. Prepared’s outreach changed the lives of the people in these poverty-stricken areas by overpowering the drugs and violence with love. The efforts of Prepared resulted in safe streets, rebuilding and expansion of parks and overall healthier household structures.
By the early 2000s, Prepared had expanded the Operation Holy Smoke program to St. Louis, MO and Chicago, IL. Today, Operation Holy Smoke still serves as Prepared’s #1 community outreach program, allowing Prepared’s founder, George Love, to encourage and support local urban communities. In addition to feeding the less fortunate, Operation Holy Smoke offers local youth an opportunity to develop community service experience by allowing them to serve food and interact with community members.