No One Goes Hungry Here:
Gladewater First UMC Hosts Community Thanksgiving Dinner
By: Sherri Gragg
Gladewater First United Methodist Church shares the love of Christ with hungry neighbors during their annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.
The tables are spread. Platters piled high with turkey steam next to stuffing and homemade casseroles, cookies, cakes and pies.
But it isn’t the third Thursday in November. It is the day before.
No One Goes Hungry
Each year on the day before Thanksgiving, Gladewater FUMC hosts a Community Thanksgiving Dinner to ensure that no one in their community goes hungry on the holiday. The week before the feast, the Gladewater FUMC youth group holds a turkey fry fundraiser. Twenty of the turkeys they prepare are set aside to feed their neighbors. Church members then prepare casseroles, vegetables, and desserts to complete the meal. Afterward, the church helps their neighbors prepare for the cold months ahead through their annual coat drive. This year, they expect to donate as many as 450 coats.
“The church began the event as an outreach effort,” said the Rev. David Lee. As the yearly event has grown in attendance, local businesses have begun supporting the dinner through donations.
Gladewater FUMC has a long history of working to meet the needs of the most vulnerable residents of Gladewater, Texas. Each second Saturday of the month, the church opens their hearts and doors to the most vulnerable families in their community during their Faith in Action Saturday. Throughout the day, volunteers welcome their neighbors to shop the church food pantry and clothes closet before joining church members for a meal.
Lee is confident his church will continue to do all they can to share the love of Christ with a community in overwhelming need. “We not only have generational poverty in our community,” he said, “A lot of that generational poverty is the result of generational mental illness. There is a large group of people who have a low income because of their inability to sustain employment because of their disabilities.”
The Gladewater FUMC Community Thanksgiving is Wednesday, November 21, 2018 at 11:00 am.