HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Despite the bone chilling cold, the people came. Hundreds of feet and hands ready to spring into action. First a prayer, and the pledge of allegiance, followed by a game between mother and daughter.
So why do they all come to help on Thanksgiving. Daniel Musterman is a 15-year-old volunteer.
"It always makes me feel great to come and help in the community, make sure that everybody gets food for Thanksgiving and everybody has a great meal." Musterman explained.
It soon becomes an assembly line of compassion. Feeding those who might go without also means a life lesson for some, like Shayla Lyons.
"When you go out and you're grateful for what you have and you're helping them, not to feel sorry for them but to just go out and help them, support them and say we're here. We love you and support you as well." Lyons said.
Even though the Feed The Needy event will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year in Harrison County, and many people have volunteered for all of those years, there are always some rookies.
Put Terry Miles in that camp.
"Because my friends asked me. And I wanted to do it. I wanted to help out as best as I could and that is why and I'm glad to be here," Miles said.
These volunteers not only deliver food, but fellowship as well. Laura Toncrey likes to visit with those she delivers meals to.
"They like to talk to you and just spend time. They just like the company of someone spending time with them and taking their time out to help them," Miles said.
Helping them is a growing act of kindness. Jimmie Jenkins has been volunteering for 24 years.
"At first, I think we did maybe about 200 or 300 meals. We're up to close to 3,000 meals now, Thanksgiving and Christmas," Jenkins said.
Because of this effort, those holidays will be much brighter and filling for the less fortunate.
Feed The Needy is sponsored every year by the Harrison County Sheriff's Department. Officials estimate more than 500 people came out this year to help.