Nearly every year on Thanksgiving night, the evening news does a segment on feeding the homeless from shelters or soup kitchens.
In Harrison County, there is no homeless shelter, but there are people who are homeless or who live in sub-standard housing. They are hungry. Their children are hungry. There are also those residents who may not be homeless, but they have no one with whom to share the holiday. There are also the many individuals who will be working on Thanksgiving with no opportunity for a traditional harvest meal.
A local church has embraced the idea of one of its members to reach out to all of those.
Instead of spending Thanksgiving at home, Unity Christian Church members are going to be making the holiday special for those in need ... of a warm meal or of friendly fellowship.
“Rather than spend Thanksgiving alone, this is an alternative,” said Vicki Faulkner, who presented the idea to her church’s ladies’ group last year.
So, for the second year, Unity Church will be cooking and serving on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Harrison County High School cafeteria.
The meal is free. However, they would appreciate knowing who will be attending so they can have an idea how much food to cook.
As if cooking the meal were not a big enough endeavor, they will also be providing transportation for city residents. They will even have a handicapped accessible van.
Karen Walters, who is also helping organize the event, said that while Unity has the food, cooking and in-town transportation covered, other churches could help out by providing delivery drivers for the shut-ins in their area.
Walters said they will be making delivery runs, but want to reserve that for those residents who are unable to get out. Advance notice is particularly important for those shut-ins who want a delivery meal. That phone number is 588-3712, which is also the number to call to make reservations for the meal at the high school.
Walters said that as it stands now, they are planning for 350 meals, which includes meals for the emergency on-call workers like police, ambulance and fire department.
“We want people to know about it,” Walters said, noting that those who will be served at the high school will also receive a gift bag.
“This is something I think families can do together,” Faulkner said. “My children are going to be there serving.”