Thanksgiving begins season of giving

Thanksgiving is just a few days away. It’s a lovely time to gather with loved ones and consume massive quantities of food.

But if you dread the shopping, cooking and cleaning that come with a Thanksgiving meal, or if you don’t have anyone with whom to spend the holiday, I’ve got a solution for you: the Community Thanksgiving Dinner at Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church.

This will be the fourth year for the dinner under the leadership of Wanda Taylor and her small group at Mount Pleasant UMC. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, everyone is welcome to enjoy free food and fellowship at the church on College Street in Mount Pleasant.

Harry Lassiter is president of the Mount Pleasant Food Ministry and a member of that small group. He’ll be there for Thanksgiving dinner. He said the group especially wants to encourage folks without family, or without someplace to go, to join them for the community meal.

“They’re just better off coming down here and having lunch with us,” he said.

No reservations are required for the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, but if you’d like information, call the church or Taylor at 704-436-6563.

Lassiter said the Food Ministry is also assisting folks with Thanksgiving dinner. All month leading up to the holiday, families who use the food ministry receive a turkey along with their regular staples. Though the ministry is financially stable, Lassiter said, extra donations are needed to help with the added cost of the turkeys.

As of early last week, they were about halfway to the goal of meeting that expense. To learn more or to donate, call the food ministry at 980-621-8634.

Folks in western Stanly County who need assistance with a Thanksgiving meal will receive assistance from West Stanly Christian Ministries in Stanfield. Director Robert Britt said the ministry’s in good shape for providing turkey dinners, but they’re always in need of staples like paper towels, peanut butter, cereal and canned chicken and tuna.

Britt said he was already looking ahead to Christmas and the second annual Day of Giving event, on Dec. 13. On that Saturday, families who need help providing Christmas for their children are invited to come to Family Sports & Fitness in Stanfield. Children will be entertained with crafts and other activities while their parents “shop” for gifts from new, donated toys.

Last year, 92 families and 252 children benefited from the Day of Giving. Britt said 200 children are already signed up for this year’s event, and he expects to add more. He’s seeking donations of toys for boys and girls, newborn to age 14, or monetary gifts to help provide a happy Christmas for these children.

Donated toys should have a value of $10 to $25 and can be dropped off at West Stanly Christian Ministries or at Family Sports & Fitness.

For information, call Britt at 704-888-6406, and enjoy the “giving” part of Thanksgiving.