If you go to the Dipsy Doodle in Cookeville, Tennessee, on Friday morning, you will find Mr. Francis Fritz and his group of friends, appropriately named, “The Dipsy Doodle Gang.” From their best recollections, they have been gathering faithfully at 8:00 a.m. on Friday mornings to have breakfast, to fellowship and to study the word of God since 2004.
The Dipsy Doodle Gang is famous around Cookeville for the charitable work that they do in the area. When they find a need, they fill it! Most notably, they build handicap-accessible ramps in homes for individuals who have a need. The group is devoted to helping the elderly in whatever they may need assistance with. Several of the gentlemen are part of a disaster response team that travels to areas ravaged by storms to aide in the relief effort. In addition to all this, it has been said that they have the best painting crew around (even though they claim to be retired from painting).
Through their outreach efforts, the gang ended up in Eastern Kentucky serving a backpack ministry in Harlan County, as well as a shelter for pregnant women. When their work with these two projects came to an end, Francis was eager to get the group involved in something else. Years before, he had visited Alice Lloyd College and thought there might be something here that the group could be involved in.
The Dipsy Doodle Gang soon became a part of Power-Up for Nutrition, a program organized by the Alice Lloyd College chapter of Phi Beta Lambda to provide food bags to needy children at local elementary schools. Immediately, the gang began passing around the hat every Friday morning to gather a collection to send to Pippa Passes. Francis is so dedicated to ensuring that the Power-Up program is supported, that when he does not think there is enough money in the hat, he passes it around again until the amount pleases him!
Thanks to the support of Francis and his dedicated group of friends, Power-Up for Nutrition has more than doubled the number of bags packed each week. Not only is the college thankful for the gang’s support, but we know that the children in Knott County are thankful as well.
Paul wrote to the church at Galatia in Galatians 6:10, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone…” The members of the Dipsy Doodle Gang truly live out Paul’s instructions. They work hard serving not only their community, but serving Appalachia in their dedication to Alice Lloyd College and the Power-Up for Nutrition Program! Thank you, Dipsy Doodle Gang, for all that you do! We appreciate you!