People in Bay St. Louis looking for a hot Thanksgiving meal had their choice of where to eat their holiday feast. They could go to the annual feeding at the American Legion which is still going strong after 20 years or the newly organized feeding at Our Lady of the Gulf Community center.
Sally Kelly is a great grandmother. Ginger Scharp is a young business owner What these two women have in common is that they both have a heart for helping others and making sure no one has to goes hungry this Thanksgiving.
Thirteen-year-old Cotton Massengill took her job as desert table monitor very seriously.
"I'm manning the desert table," said Cotton. "I have to tell everybody what the deserts are and tell them what kind of pies there are and stuff."
Cotton's grandmother Sally Kelly has organized a Thanksgiving community feeding in Bay St. Louis for the last 21 years, 20 of those years at American Legion. Kelly says she spends the year asking for donations from coast businesses to put on the meal, then does most of the cooking herself.
"It's just fun to do. It's a fun thing," said Kelly. "I've got it pretty well pat so it's not too awful much work. What we don't get in donations, I have extended family so they pitch in. If we need anymore, they come up with it."
It was ham, dressing and all the fixings over at Our Lady of The Gulf. After years of wanting to give back to her community, Ginger Scharp finally made the decision to take action.
"Like all of us, we have our own personal trials and tribulations in life. I'm so blessed I have a beautiful family, children and everyone is healthy," said Scharp. "I decided I'm going to do it. I'm going to make it happen so I sat down with a few people, business leaders and told them my idea and the leaders in town supported it. "
Scharp says to organize her first community feeding she turned to veteran Sally Kelly for advice and guidance.
Ginger Sharp "She was a total inspiration for me to keep doing it and changing things around here. Providing something that our community so desperately needs. "
That admiration for Sally Kelly is shared by Cotton and the 30 other Kelly relatives to who turned out to help.
"I think she's great," said Cotton. "I think it's very very good."
Organizers at the American legion say about 400 people came by for meals today. Meanwhile, Ginger Scharp says she plans to organize another community feeding next year.