GALION — Hundreds of Grace Point Church parishioners and area residents gathered Thursday to make sure others had a happy holiday and a hearty meal. It was the the annual Thanksgiving Day dinner distribution at the Portland Way North church.
Volunteers cooked the food, packed up the to-go packages and even delivered the meals to people in Crawford and Morrow counties who could not get out, or to those who had no family to spend Thanksgiving with.
“They’ve made the food and now they are distributing it,” said volunteer Sylvia Reineke. “We’ve helped as a non-member a couple of years ago and now we’ve started at this church and it’s just a way of giving back. It makes our Thanksgiving that much more pleasurable because we’ve helped somebody else.”
Kris Keesee , who helps spearhead the event each year, said the church started the meal distribution six or seven years ago.
“I worked with different (people) over the years and they didn’t have anywhere to go and didn’t have a meal for Thanksgiving so I asked Pastor Paul (Walter) about it. A lot of churches have meals where you go to the church, but transportation is a big problem,” she said. “So we started this, where we deliver the meals to people. The first couple years we just did Crawford County but now we cover Morrow County, as well.
“Our meals are geared toward people who are alone or older couples who can’t really get out.” she said
Volunteers on Thursday, Keesee said, were not just from Grace Point, but were members of other churches and others in the community.
“The church buys the turkey breasts and people from the church sign up to bake the turkey breasts and then people sign up to make things like green beans, mashed potatoes, and gravy,” she said. “We buy stuff for the dressing and make it and the pies. Phil’s Deli gave us some sugar-free pies and then some people from the church made some.”
“Today, we are serving 263 meals,” she said. “And if we have extra food we take out to the apartment places. This is the end of the month, so it’s hard for some people because they are a little short (on funds).”
“We have a wonderful church family,” Keesee said. “When I went to Pastor Paul about this he said it was something his wife always wanted to do so the church got right behind it. People said they wanted to do something on Thanksgiving for people.”
“This is just a privilege we have to be able to serve the Lord and bless people at Thanksgiving time,” said Pastor Walter. “It’s a great, great thing. We probably have about 250 volunteers for the day and it’s fun to watch. And the best part for me is getting the chance to watch families do this together and seeing kids giving up part of their holiday time to serve other people. It’s a great opportunity for them to discover what it means to serve Jesus in our world.
“Our church family now has turned this into a tradition and most of them plan on this as part of their Thanksgiving day,” Walter said.
Volunteers showed up by the dozens Thursday morning at Galion’s Grace Point church. They prepped, dished up and delivered Thankstiving meals to more than 250 Crawford and Morrow county residents.
A line of volunteers line up to fill up food containers Thursday at Grace Point Church. After filling up the containers, they were delivered to many in the community who had no place to go, nor family to spend Thanksgiving with.
After filling containers with turkey, stuffing and more, volunteers stopped at a different table to pick up pies and cookies for the 253 meals delivered in Crawford and Morrow counties Thursday.