Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

December 26, 2013

Caring, Sharing, Giving

St. John AME and Kemet Universal host annual event

VALDOSTA — Early Christmas morning, while kids were trying to convince their parents that it was time to get up, Eddie L. Koonce was busy tending to turkeys and hams.

Koonce, along with other volunteers, worked to put on Kemet Universal's “Day of Caring, Sharing and Giving,” an annual event where local Sons of Solomon Chapter No. 151 and Electra No. 323 provide a free, home-cooked Christmas meal.

Now in its 25th year, it's become a Christmas tradition.

“We started it because we wanted to make a difference,” said Koonce, grandmaster and organizer. “We asked God to give this to us and he did. We're just servants. If we didn't have this to do on Christmas morning and Thanksgiving, I don't know what we would do.”

Over the years, different churches and organizations throughout the community have hosted Kemet's Christmas dinner. This year, St. John's African Methodist Episcopal Church hosted the event.

“This is my church, actually, so it's like home. We're bringing it home.”

In past years, the meal has been presented straightway, but this year, organizers wanted to also hold a Christmas service, complete with hymns, carols and a sermon.

“With the economy the way it is and people without jobs, our mission is to attend to and assist the needy,” said St. John AME Interim Pastor Jacqueline Smith. “People need to know the purpose of Christmas is not bright lights and gift giving, it's about a gift that has been given to us from eternity.”

As the Christmas service took place in the church next door, volunteers finished last-minute preparations, laying out food and drinks and manning the lines.

“I'm proud of what (our volunteers) do,” said Koonce. “These are the people some people have forgotten about. Somebody has to feed these people and we'll do it the best we can. All of the stores are closed, but this church is open. We're open for business.”

Text Only
Local News
  • 140415-water003.jpg Sewage problems persist

    Early Tuesday morning, Valdosta became saturated when the area received approximately three inches of rain from 4 a.m. to noon. As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, 11 manholes throughout the City of Valdosta have spilled 286,500 gallons of wastewater into local waterways, and this number will continue to rise.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • vsuopera1dido.jpg Operatic Conclusion

    When the curtain lowers this weekend on Valdosta State University Opera’s performance of Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” it will not only mark the end of the music group’s season.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘If I Were Mayor’ contest essays

    If I were mayor, I would do all that I possibly can to make the city of Valdosta marvelous, but I cannot do it on my own. Some things in Valdosta I feel it is necessary to focus on would be our literacy rate, unemployment rate, crime history, and our environment.

    April 16, 2014

  • APTOPIX Boston Marath_Stew.jpg Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

    Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city’s resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-valdostaboe001 copy.jpg Valdosta Board of Education reviews finances

    Valdosta City Schools Board of Education celebrated many successes Monday night, discussed budget information and heard an announcement of intent from a hopeful charter school.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • dancing with the stars copy.jpg Dancing with Valdosta Stars raises scholarship money

    Valdosta State University Music and Theatre & Dance’s Third Annual Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta presented a fine dance show this past weekend.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • N0041120.jpg Passover: A nation reborn

    “And you shall tell your children that on that day the Lord has took you out from the house of bondage.” — The Passover Hagadah

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-DFCS001.jpg Luncheon recognizes DFACS employees

    Dozens of Lowndes County Division of Family and Children Services employees gathered Monday at Olympic Park for a barbecue lunch in recognition of their hard work.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-Sewage002.jpg Fla. calls for Valdosta boycott

    Florida residents are calling for a boycott of Valdosta regarding the sewage spills, with areas affected downstream increasingly distressed over the millions of gallons that have polluted the waters of the Withlacoochee and the Suwannee River Basin during the last several years.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • police-lights-backgrounds-for-powerpoint.jpg ‘Dangerous’ fugitive caught

    A fugitive from Ohio wanted for attempted murder and a number of assault and robbery charges was captured by Valdosta police Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

Top News

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results