Tradition says that the fourth Thursday in November is a day to give thanks. For over 250 people that thanks goes to the folks at United Methodist Church, 301 North Broadway.

For almost 15 years the folks at UMC have taken time away from their busy Thanksgiving Day schedules and their own personal plans to give to their community. Traditionally, Thanksgiving Day is a day of celebrating with family and friends over tables full of food that are certain to force someone to take out another notch in your belt. To many, it’s just another day wondering where the next meal will come from.

The kitchen at UMC opened at 5:00 am Thanksgiving Day in order to prepare meals that were both delivered to folks at their homes and served in the church cafeteria. Deliveries began around 11:00 am and serving at the church began at noon.

On one scheduled delivery UMC member Dalton Smart came across a family that inquired as to what he was doing with the packages of food as he visited a recipient’s home. The woman explained to Mr. Smart that she too was without Thanksgiving dinner along with her three children. Smart was quick to relay this information to the folks back at the church and was soon on his way with another delivery to a family that may not have experienced the happiness of Thanksgiving if it were not for the volunteers from United Methodist Church.

Dave and Carolyn Bean coordinate the program with help from many volunteers from the church. For that, UMC Pastor Charlie Wilfong is grateful. Wilfong stated that "people love to come together to help with programs like this". There are lots of folks who make this possible added Carolyn Bean. Among the many church volunteers were three of Bean’s grandchildren Olivia, Sean and Kyle.

Providing food for the needy is not just a once a year program at UMC. Each Sunday the church hosts a program called BreakF.E.A.S.T. (Friends eating and sharing together) is the name of the mission project.

As delivery ended for the day and the noon hour approached, there were nearly twenty folks in the church hall taking their place at tables festively decorated for the event. Thanksgiving Day has real meaning for over 250 county residents thanks to the volunteers from UMC.



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