All invited to community Thanksgiving
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Everyone is invited to enjoy the annual Coweta community Thanksgiving meal put on by Community Christian Church.
Meals will be served in the cafeterias of Newnan High School and Arnco-Sargent Elementary School. Volunteers are also available to deliver meals, and you can get it to go or eat in and enjoy the fellowship. The meal will be served between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Free clothing will also be available at both locations, said John Martin, director of outreach for Community Christian. Martin said last year that 90 percent of the clothing was gone in the first hour.
"The entire reason that we do this meal is to let the community know that we love them and we are here for them," said Martin. "We don't do this event as a 'feed the helpless' event, although there are certainly those that do need this meal. We do it to let Coweta County know that CCC is a place where we care about the community and that we care about them personally as well."
"Everybody is invited. It doesn't matter what your income level is," he said. "It's just a community meal and we expect people to come be a part of it. It's more about people just getting together to eat together… let's all get together and get to know each other," Martin said.
He said they expect to serve about 2,500 plates this year. And 50 to 60 percent of that will be delivery.
Delivery orders must be placed by 10 a.m. on Thursday. Call 678-740-3995. Spanish speakers can call 678-723-5127.
The menu will be smoked turkey, corn, green beans, red potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce.
Some 400 church members volunteer each year to put on the meal, and the church buys all the food. In the early years, they got donations but eventually decided to just buy everything. The money comes out of the Sunday offering. "We budget for it all year long. We tell our people that when you give the offering on Sunday, it goes toward things like that."
One church member takes care of smoking all 150 turkeys, starting on Monday.
On Wednesday evening, about 100 volunteers will gather at the school kitchens to start preparing all the other food.
Church members enjoy spending their Thanksgiving holiday helping at the community meal. Church members have "really caught onto the idea that even though Coweta is a very middle-class community," there are many people in need, Martin said. "If we just try to do something about poverty in this community, we can change it. Our church has really caught on to that mission. They really are on fire with that," Martin said.