Residents give thanks by giving back

Mayham Long (front right) volunteered his time on Thanksgiving Day to serve meals at Grace Resource Center.

LANCASTER – Turkey, stuffing, ham, yams, seasoned rice, cream potatoes, green bean casserole, vegetarian casserole, cranberry, and various types of cakes, pies and fruits were all part of the Thanksgiving feast at Grace Resource Center Thursday.

“We are having a Thanksgiving Dinner for whoever shows up,” said Assistant Director John Cooper. “The meal has been put together by people in the community.”

Cooper said dozens of volunteers had contacted Grace Resource Center to ask what they could do to help the less fortunate for Thanksgiving. The good Samaritans were given dishes to prepare based on the overall menu and asked to bring them in before 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

“From turkeys to vegetables to rice to yams to desserts to milk, our volunteers have been bringing it in and we put it all together,” Cooper said.

Other volunteers came in Thursday to warm up the food, set the tables, serve the food and clean up, making the Thanksgiving feast a collaborative effort by the entire community, Cooper said.

A resident enjoys a home cooked Thanksgiving meal prepared by volunteers.

“People want to do something to help and we given them an opportunity to do so,” he said.

Jamie Belton of Palmdale spent the better part of her Thanksgiving morning preparing the largest green bean casserole she had ever attempted – her contribution to the Thanksgiving feast.

“I think it’s very important to give back and to remember those that have less than us,” said Belton. “We should all try to do for others.”

Debra Funderburk and Mayhem Long were on hand to serve meals to the estimated 300 people that came through Grace Resource Center for the Thanksgiving feast.

“I love giving back to the community and helping and sharing what God has given me,” said Funderburk.

Long said volunteering on Thanksgiving Day was his way of giving thanks to his creator.

“In my life every day is Thanksgiving, and one of the ways I can show that is by coming out and helping people,” said Long. “We serve a God that is about helping people, so I’m just trying to imitate him.”

The Grace Resource Center Thanksgiving Feast also featured free face painting, free haircuts, and live music by the “Lift Him Up” band.

Lancaster resident Qaaree brought her mother to the event to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

“I think this is a blessing,” said Qaaree, pointing to her heaping plate of food. “This is just wonderful.”

For more information on Grace Resource Center and how you can donate, visit