Wednesday, November 24, 2010

TOP STORY > >Thanksgiving spirit is spread by groups

By jeffrey smith

Leader staff writer

Many local organizations in the area are letting families enjoy a Thanksgiving feast this year during the tough economy.

Cornerstone Assembly Church on Brewer Street in Ward held a turkey dinner at the city hall cafeteria for the community on Saturday to celebrate Thanksgiving.

“We wanted to help the community and the people in need this Thanksgiving season have at least one Thanksgiving meal. The Bible tells us to feed the hungry and help people in need. That is why we’re here,” Pastor Mark Brooke said.

Church members roasted and deep fried 19 turkeys with all the trimming, including mashed potatoes with a choice of gravy or cheese, and many pies and desserts.

The community dinner was the first for the church, Pastor Brooke, son of Mayor Art Brooke, would like to make it an annual event.

“We feel like we’re doing what we’re supposed to do. We’re trying to do our part. We can’t feed everybody but we’re doing our share,” the pastor said.

Church members Ed Lynch and his wife Sharon of Cabot were among those having a hot turkey lunch.

“The food is great and wonderful. We’re new to the church and we love the church. There are a lot of people in need who need this,” he said.

Mayor Brooke said it was a pretty good turnout having the dinner for the first time. There was good food, good fellowship and a lot of good volunteer workers. He appreciated Cornerstone Assembly for holding the event.

“I feel there were some families that needed this,” he said.

Hope’s Closet and Pantry and New Life Church helped 275 families have food for Thanksgiving on Saturday with “Boxes of Hope.” The boxes contained enough food to last two weeks and included sweet potatoes donated by a local farmer and a turkey from Knight’s grocery.

“It’s an honor to serve our community and help those families that are going through hard times. It is very emotional. This community surprises me every time. It makes me want to cry,” Hope’s Closet director Kimberly Buchberger said.

“When parents don’t have jobs or a limited income, it is children who suffer. They do without and this is for them,” Buchberger said.

The food boxes were packed and distributed to the less fortunate at the New Life Church. Many organizations and churches collected canned and non-perishable foods for the boxes including Fellowship Bible Church, Boy Scout Pack 205, Girl Scout Troop 6485 and airmen from Little Rock Air Force Base.

Cabot schools that helped out were Southside Elementary, (which collected nearly 5,000 canned goods alone), Westside Elementary, Stagecoach Ele-mentary, Mountain Springs Elementary, Eastside Elementary and Central Elementary schools, Cabot Middle School South, Cabot Junior High North and Junior High South.

New Life Church Pastor Tim Gaddy said he was grateful for the families that had food to donate and for the churches and schools working together with Hope’s Closet.

“It is community support. To me, it is a pretty neat thing,” Gaddy said.

He said there were people who received help throughout the year from Hope’s Closet who came back to help out.

Along with food boxes, Hope’s Closet gave away 800 used coats that were collected by the high school soccer team.

The Cabot Rotary Club delivered 100 Thanksgiving meal food baskets to families in need on Sunday.

The baskets included hams and full dinners for families of four. It is the Rotary’s annual service project. The Kroger supermarket assisted the Rotary with the baskets.

“I think we are feeding more families than we have before,” Rotary club president Jeff Spann said.