With Thanksgiving just a few days away, there are some people in our community who are not only giving thanks for their own bounty, but working hard to share it with others. It is an amazing story of how much a little kindness can do.
For the past several years, Bill and Amy Campbell and a group of volunteers at United We Care in Grovetown have collected food and clothing to help out the less fortunate year-round. But they also recognize how special the holidays are, and how difficult it can be for those who cant afford to celebrate even in a small way.
As a result, the Campbells boost their efforts this time of year, seeking donations of turkeys, other food items and funds to help provide Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to hard-luck families in the area. With special-delivery help from the Grovetown Department of Public Safety, the Campbells prepare and deliver dozens of meals to feed hundreds of people.
The effort has actually run into a good problem this year: Fewer families have signed up for Thanks-giving meals. Part of that bounty can be directly attributed to the helping hand the Campbells and United We Care deliver the rest of the year.
To help with the Thanksgiving and Christmas efforts, call United We Care at 854-8852. Even better, drop by the food pantry at 101 Newmantown Road in Grovetown, across the street from city hall.
For the second year, Glenn Kersh and Ling-Feng Tang will give away Thanksgiving dinner at their popular Peppermill Restaurant in Evans.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, diners can feast on turkey, stuffing, gravy other traditional menu items, and its all free.
Whats the catch? Celebrity waiters and community volunteers will be serving the food, and will solicit - and gratefully receive - tips from diners. All of the money will then be donated to the Golden Harvest Food Bank and to Columbia County Cares.
In its first year, the dinner raised more than $1,500. This year, Columbia County Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker signed on to help recruit waiters for the event, and her detailed, efficient hand will likely be responsible for a boost to eclipse last years event.
I figured this is the least we could do to help the community, Kersh shrugs. All that generosity, and modesty, too. What more could Columbia County ask for?
Part of the answer may come from the unselfish souls with the Columbia County Foundation for Children. Its an incredibly quiet group, serving primarily children in foster homes.
And yes, in affluent Columbia County, there are plenty of foster children. Christina Ruetz, community resource specialist for the Department of Family and Children Services, says there currently are more than three dozen foster children in just nine foster homes in Columbia County.
Those children, and others identified as needing Christmas cheer, are referred by DFCS workers to the all-volunteer Foundation, which exists entirely on donations.
One way to provide those donations, just in time for the Foundations annual Christmas party for its children - planned for Dec. 9 this year at West Acres Baptist Church - is to come to Columbia Countys Christmas tree lighting ceremony Dec. 6. Participants in the Santa and Elf Run preceding the event will donate new toys for the Foundation, and entry fees will support the effort. Collection boxes also will be set up at the festivities.
Thanksgiving really is a time to give thanks. Folks like the Campbells, the Peppermill owners and the Foundation, and many other unsung heroes, demonstrate that its also a great time to share our fortune by helping others.
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