At least 1,800 meals were packed up for delivery. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Hundreds of volunteers showed up to help at the event. (Photo source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -
Hundreds of volunteers showed up Thursday at the Lyman Community Center in Harrison County, ready to lend helping hands and deliver hot meals to the less fortunate.
People lined up and were then lifted up in prayer, not to mention a pep talk. Then the assembly line of good will shifted into high gear, with a lesson in mind for the younger generation.
Tonya Graves said, “They'll learn how to be productive citizens and show that they care about their fellow neighbors."
Police explorers were there to help. One of them was James Turrubiartes, who said, “We just make sure that there's enough people, enough hands to finish helping with everything they need help with.”
For some, like Crystal Schackai, the day reflected a higher calling.
“We're just here to serve Jesus. And just to serve the people, people who need food on Thanksgiving. We're just wanted to be the love of Christ," said Schackai.
Harrison County sheriff elect Troy Peterson joined in, keeping the tradition alive.
“It's different this year because we have a little say so in it, and it means a lot more. Thanksgiving is all about giving anyway, so that's what we're trying to do,” Peterson said.
The Feed The Needy program is in its 26th year. And if you've ever stopped by, one thing you notice is that it's all about family.
"This is an example for the young people. Sometimes they don't have opportunities for service and they see their parents doing service but here we have from the smallest to the oldest and it's an awesome reflection of our community,” Stacy Waldrop exclaimed.
With the 1,800 meals packed up, it's delivery time for Wendy Ward and others.
“I was telling her that God is good and God has blessed her and she says God bless you too. It's a good Thanksgiving. It's a great Thanksgiving," said Ward.
The program also delivers thousands of meals on Christmas day with the help of volunteers.