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1,664 Guests Enjoyed

Thanksgiving Dinner at God’s Storehouse &

The Jesus Inn

On Wednesday, November 25, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Thanksgiving Dinner was served at God’s Storehouse & The Jesus Inn for the community to enjoy. One thousand six hundred and sixty-four people were treated to homemade turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, sweet potato souffle, green beans, a dinner roll, sweet tea, and a slice of pound cake.

The event looked a little different this year due to the COVID-19 Virus. Temperature checks, hand washing, gloves, and masks were the order of the day for volunteers. Three thousand-two hundred rolls and slices of cake had to be individually wrapped. Plates were distributed to both a drive-through line of guests and socially distanced pedestrians. Plates were also delivered to the homes of people unable to come, or uncomfortable coming, to the Storehouse.

Director Tina M. Houser would like to thank the nearly fifty volunteer food preparers and servers from a host of different businesses, churches, & community groups that made the event possible. A handful of people have been working on this event since mid-October, including her assistants, myself & Betty Poole, as well as Herschel Mincey, Bob Smith, Eloise Burley, Matt Williams, Geraldine Jones, and Carolyn Greenwood. In addition, Pastor Rusty Houser, John & Sharon Slaton, Charles Patrick, Dennis Parson & Tina Wheeler (at Vidalia High School) spent the night or early hours of the morning preparing hundreds of deepdish serving pans of food.

Logistical burdens were greatly eased this year, with several donors stepping right up to offer their support of this event. Sam Page of Copper Construction, Inc., purchased thousands of dollars of turkeys, cakes and other fixings. In addition to their massive regular donations, Dot Foods, Inc., stored the turkeys and donated the rolls, potatoes, green beans, and butter. Under Ashley Crump’s leadership, the students at J.D. Dickerson Elementary School collected over 500 cans of cranberry sauce, Carnation milk, and boxes of Jiffy Mix. Ann Todd from Tom Peterson Realty provided the plates. Lynn and Freddie Thompson made the concentrated sweet tea.

For hundreds in Vidalia the spirit of Thanksgiving was giving. Financial & food donations poured in from around the community. Randy Deloach & Generations Farms donated the sweet potatoes and onions. Ameris bank personnel brought two pickup truckloads of canned goods. Trane Corporation had a semitrailer full of hams and turkeys it was giv- continued from page

ing out to the community. We picked up forty and took them straight to the Police Department for distribution to our first responders. The First United Methodist Church of Vidalia allowed us the use of their kitchen to cook the dressing. On and on. There were so many involved in this event that it would be nearly impossible to acknowledge them all here, but we do thank you!

One of the things I am most thankful for is living in a community that reverences God and demonstrates the love of Jesus through their actions and not just their words. Vidalia should be proud of their giving hearts, but they are not. They quietly go about blessing people because they have been blessed. There is an inclusive fabric of unity and genuine concern for others that underlies this community and pulls it together. This cannot only be felt, but actively invites all of us to be a part of. During this time of social unrest, this is a treasure that we should all be thankful for. I know we certainly are.

Our next effort is collecting 500 new toys for Christmas. If you would like to donate brand new toys for children nine years old or under, call John or Tina at (912) 538-1730.

Thank you, and Merry Christmas from Tina, myself, and the staff of God’s Storehouse & The Jesus Inn Recovery Center! John Sprangel

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