CLYDE – A Clyde couple who say they are grateful for God’s grace in their lives have found a way to let those blessings overflow to others.

Tom and Lavin Schwan, owners of Bone Boy’s BBQ & Catering in Bellevue, have started a Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) program through the business to honor locals who have made a difference in their communities. RAK recipients receive online recognition, a note of thanks from the Schwans, and a complimentary Bone Boy’s BBQ meal — including a barbecue entrée, sides and dessert — for them and their family.

Bone Boy’s BBQ began a catering service about eight years ago, offering the Schwans’ signature barbecue specialties such as slow-smoked brisket, pulled pork and ribs, as well as a variety of non-barbecue favorites.

“It’s not just barbecue. It’s everything,” Lavin said.

When the Schwans opened Bone Boy’s in Bellevue in 2016, they planned to implement the RAK program there, but the business’ success left them with little time to do anything but keep it running. Exposure to their food through the restaurant created such an increase in catering requests that the Schwans closed the restaurant in 2018 to focus solely on catering.

“As much as we felt God led us to open the restaurant, we felt he wanted us to close it,” Lavin said. “It was a God thing. Our catering business grew by leaps and bounds, and that’s 100-percent because of the restaurant.”

With more time flexibility, the Schwans were finally able to begin the RAK program, and they honored their first recipients in September. The recipients were Scott and Lisa Sparks, Doug and Patty Anderson, and their team members who helped bring the “Remember Our Fallen” display to Monroeville, a traveling photographic war memorial which honors military personnel who died from September 11, 2001 to the present.

“We absolutely support our vets and those that serve, so when we read this one, it was almost a given,” Lavin said about the choice. “It took a lot of people and a lot of work to bring the exhibit to the village of Monroeville.”

October’s RAK recipients were Jerry and Sheri Risner of Bellevue. Jerry serves in the Army Reserve and supports military veterans at parades, memorial services and many other venues. Sheri supports her husband’s efforts and has also rescued hundreds of stray, injured and homeless animals.

Lavin said she and Tom chose the Risners as the October recipients because they were impressed the Risners united together to support and represent their community and veterans.

“And I’m a real lover of animals, so that touched my heart,” Lavin said. “They pay for the strays’ medical treatment out of their own pockets. That says a lot to me about them as individuals and as a couple.”

The RAK program sprang from the Schwans’ desire to share their faith in a practical way. Their theme Bible verse is Hebrews 13:16 which says, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

“Tom and I are so extremely grateful for all the blessings God has given us, and we recognize everything we have is a blessing from him,” Lavin said. “God gave us servant hearts, and we thought this was a great way to give back and share with others the blessings God has given us.”

Lavin said she was overwhelmed by the emotional response that came when she named the Risners as the October recipients.

“In this society, there’s a lot of negativity going around, a lot that’s disheartening. If we can a bright sport that people can engage in, that’s a good thing.”

Source: Freemont News Messenger