Tim Trueblood was on his way to pick up a pizza from Big Al’s BBQ in Adel when his 10-year-old son, Trevor, asked him to donate his Easter money to the restaurant.
“I was leaving to go pick it up. He said, ‘Dad, why don’t you take my Easter money and donate to Big Al’s.’ At that point, I said ‘Would you like to come with me, you could give the money to them directly?,’” Trueblood said.
Trevor, who is currently a fourth-grader at the DeSoto Intermediate School, enjoys participating in all sports including baseball, basketball, football and golf. His family also just recently got a puppy that he loves taking on walks and runs.
However, when Trevor saw how much Big Al’s BBQ was doing for the local community, he decided he also wanted to do something that would help.
“It’s always better to give than to receive my mom and dad said. I like to help others,” Trevor Trueblood said. “Big Al has done so much for our community and others in the area, I just wanted to do a little something to help as well.”
Al Laudencia, owner of Big Al’s BBQ said he was hesitant at first to accept the generous donation. Trueblood, however, assured him that Trevor had come up with the idea all on his own and really wanted to help.
“He came right up to me, handed me this wadded cash, and said ‘I want to help the community. I want to help you feed Adel,’” Laudencia said. “It’s that kind of spirit that’s really turning the darkness into light. This pandemic is something that is going to go down in history. For the little town of Adel to make that much of an impact not only in Adel but around the community, that’s a big deal.”
Since the restaurant first began offering free kids meals nearly a month ago, Big Al’s BBQ has expanded to include a free community meal each night. The restaurant has also provided meals for healthcare workers at places such as the Dallas County Hospital along with nursing home staff at Adel Acres and first responders throughout the local community. The restaurant also honored ADM graduating seniors with a free lunch on Wednesday, April 22.
In addition, the restaurant has just recently began helping locations outside of the Dallas County area by providing free meals to not only truck drivers but also Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic and the Des Moines Police Department, to name a few.
Every free meal offered by Big Al’s BBQ is sponsored by local community members through either monetary or food donations, which has grown to include surrounding towns such as Indianola and Urbandale. Laudencia even recalled a volunteer who travels from Des Moines to Adel each day just to help provide the free meals.
Laudencia anticipates that if the restaurant keeps up its current momentum, by the end of the month the establishment could potentially feed up to 5,000 meals since the free meal offerings first began.
“It’s just been a snowball effect. It really just shows what this community has proven to the world. It doesn’t take a lot to make a huge difference in people’s lives,” Laudencia said. “We just want to thank the community of Adel and just how humbled and how thankful that we are that we live in a community that shows that our hearts are here but we are able to make a difference by doing the right thing.”