Volunteers deliver Thanksgiving surprises to needy families

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - A special delivery arrived at dozens of homes in the Pass Christian area Monday. A church ministry dropped-off boxes of food, so families in need can have a hot meal on the table this Thanksgiving.

Volunteers spent hours in the chilly weather, knocking on doors. Their trucks and cars were loaded and the festive boxes were filled with groceries.

"We sent these boxes to the school [St. Vincent de Paul] for the kids to decorate, and they stocked them with ingredients that you can make a Thanksgiving dinner," said volunteer Joseph Piernas.

When asked where all the food came from, Piernas replied, "The community."

Then it came time to deliver the frozen turkeys and other treats to 54 families in need, mainly the elderly and disabled in Pass Christian, Delisle and Pineville. Volunteers with Christian Concerned Ministry Food Pantry at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church headed-up the holiday tradition.

"We're trying to feed the needy, take care of the needy. If somebody can't help themselves, somebody has to help," said H.P. Singleton, Food Pantry President. "They know we're coming so most of them are going to be at home waiting for us."

"It's that time of year!" Piernas shouted as he knocked on Rudolph Kennedy's door.

"I appreciate it. Many poor people don't have food to eat," said Kennedy.

Althea Johnson looks forward to opening her box every year.

"Well, I'm thankful for it. I am, because I'm by myself and I'm almost 92 years old," said Johnson.

Johnson seemed surprised to see the delivery, because it came a little late this year.

"That's why I wasn't thinking I was going to get one. I thought they might have forgotten me," said Johnson. "I got something to eat and I don't have to go out in the street. I can stay home and eat."

The joy they brought and the blessings they shared helped make Thanksgiving more meaningful for the volunteers.

"It's kicking off the holiday spirit and just put people in a good mood, able to have food on their table and have some family time together," said Piernas. "We're helping people in need so it feels real good to do this."

"Thanks a lot, appreciate it," one woman told him.

For those parishioners of Our Mother of Mercy who cannot cook their turkeys, the church fraternity "Knights of Peter Claver" will deep-fry their turkeys for free on Thanksgiving morning.

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