Some concerned groups in McDuffie County are giving up part of their Thanksgiving Day to make sure those in need won't be forgotten on Nov. 25.
Instead of distributing the makings for a meal as they have in the past, this year a group of volunteers will serve a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings at the Thomson Presbyterian Church on Wrens Highway. Each person planning to attend will need a ticket. Tickets are free of charge, but must be picked up ahead of time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Thomson MANNA office, located at 118 Greenway Street.
"We want to meet the needs of the area," said Bob Eick, chairman of the Outreach Committee of the Thomson Presbyterian Church which is co-sponsoring the event along with MANNA, Temple-Inland and Shaw Industries.
Serving will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 25.
About 250 are expected to attend the dinner, which will feature fresh roasted turkey cooked by the Thomson Fire Department. Side dishes and vegetables will be heated at the Church and then served to visitors.
"We want to make this a real family Thanksgiving time," Mr. Eick said.
This is the first year the Church and other sponsors will serve a hot meal to the needy, he said. In the past, around 60 food baskets filled with fixings for a nice meal were distributed instead.
"This is more personal," he said.
Volunteers look forward to the opportunity to minister to visitors, said Machelle Campbell, MANNA executive director.
"We hope to line up a couple of Christian bands, and we'll have a devotional at the beginning," Ms. Campbell said.
"I think this will be well received," she added.
"If this goes as well as expected, it will be ongoing and may blossom into something bigger," Mr. Eick said.
Coordinators are seeking volunteers to help with the dinner. For more information on the dinner, contact Ms. Campbell at 595-3138. To volunteer, contact Mr. Eick at 595-5706.