NEWBERRY —Almost a couple of hundred people in Newberry County will receive free meals on Thanksgiving.
While Lewis United Methodist Church members could be at home with their families on Thanksgiving, they choose to spend much of the holiday and previous day preparing and delivering meals.
Church member Ellen Callaway said that the church has been doing this for many years but there was a small break when the downtown churches lead it.
Lewis U.M.C. brought it back in 2006, according to Callaway.
The Thanksgiving meals are all cooked, prepared and delivered by church members who begin Wednesday by preparing some of the side dishes, cooking Wednesday night and then dishing and plating up the meals to be delivered Thursday morning.
About 30 members will roll into the church around 9 a.m. Thursday when the kitchen and social hall area are packed with food and plates galore.
Church member and volunteer Jimmie Nell Turner says they are typically finished by noon Thursday when the drivers return.
Turner along with Betty Kyzer have been church members for many years and volunteers for many of those years as well.
When asked why they spend Thanksgiving helping those less fortunate or those who may be lonely, she says, “It’s the Christian thing to do. It’s for people mostly alone at home. This is how I celebrate Thanksgiving. If we have dinner, my husband takes me out because I don’t cook (for myself on Thanksgiving),”
Turner smiles as she says she doesn’t cook on Thanksgiving for herself.
The meals will be delivered all over Newberry County.
Callaway says they get the names from senior centers, people in the church who may know of people and also through Disabilities and Special Needs.
Pastor Jimmy Counts is one of the delivery drivers who enjoys participating and had stories to tell.
For instance, he recalls one time when he went to Prosperity to a home to discover that the person had moved back to Newberry so he had to drive back.
He also enjoys chatting a bit with the people although he has to keep on schedule with deliveries.
“You get a chance to see the needs and appreciation,” said Counts when delivering the meals.
“It’s a joy to come in Thursday morning and see a crowd of volunteers,” said Callaway.