Valdosta Daily Times

November 21, 2013

Feeding the Needy

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The last few years have been particularly difficult for a number of families in the area, leaving many without the basic necessities or the means to acquire them. While various social agencies assist those in need throughout the year, the holidays can be a trying time to be without. Thankfully, there are many organizations which step up to the plate each year to help those who have fallen on hard times.

For the last 18 years, 100 Black Men of Valdosta has been serving Thanksgiving meals to senior citizens, the homeless and the hungry on the Saturday prior to the holiday. This week, the members and a large group of volunteers will cook and dish out about 1,000 plates, including delivering meals to shut-ins and the Ashley House.

Next week, Second Harvest will be handing out baskets of food on Wednesday to help feed the needy. LAMP and several area churches are also preparing and serving food on Thanksgiving Day.

One of the largest Thanksgiving meals will be served by Sam’s BBQ on West Hill Avenue. Sam Watts has been organizing the Thanksgiving Day Celebration for seven years, and not only will hundreds be served that day, Watts also provides clothing, jackets and winter wear that is donated by several organizations for those in need.

The need is real and the love is genuine. Each year, there are nearly as many volunteers for these giveaways as there are individuals in need. Many families celebrate Thanksgiving together by helping to serve others. For those who donate their time, the experience is eye-opening, heartwarming, and often sad. It’s one thing to see a statistic about the number of hungry people in our community and quite another to witness it first hand.

If you have the time to give, if you wish to make a monetary donation or to donate clothing, contact one of the many groups that are providing Thanksgiving meals. The more donations they receive, the more people they can help.

If you have more than you need, be thankful for all you have and consider giving back for the holiday.