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Giving a special kind of grace – a free community Thanksgiving meal

Morris Partain

COOPER - Volunteers at the First United Methodist Church in Cooper have been counting their blessings for the success they have had serving a free Thanksgiving meal to those in need every year for past 20 years.

“It just gets bigger and bigger every year,” commented volunteer Joyce Floyd, on the 200-300 meals they provide each year on that one holiday.

Until they began the enterprise they didn’t know there were so many home-bound people, added Morris Partain, a leader of the volunteers.

Everyone is welcome. They serve people from all walks of life – nursing home residents, Cooper Lake campers, convenient store workers and jail inmates. They feel no one should have to be alone on Thanksgiving.

The Church is seeking volunteers to help prepare a meal which includes turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce, salad, sweet potatoes, green beans, hot rolls and desserts

“We will let anybody do anything they want to do this year,” said Partain on their unique enterprise. He noted they always seem to have an experienced cavalry of workers turning out a tasty meal.

There a multiple ways to contribute to their efforts from monetary donations, baking dishes, decorating, delivering meals or just saying a prayer for them. The church provides the ingredients, and volunteers do their own baking in their homes and return the prepared dishes for the Community Thanksgiving meal held on Thursday, Nov. 24th  at the church.

Everyone is invited to attend from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Take out and delivery are also available just call 903-395-4263 or 903-395-2332.

Partain believes the free meal provides more than a full stomach but plentiful fellowship too. They hope to eventually also provide a Christmas meal as well.

“The Lord believed in me, putting this in our hands,” said Partain as he is very grateful to be providing it for the community.

The First United Methodist Church in Commerce is also holding a free  Thanksgiving meal for community members. You can learn more about these events and post your own Thanksgiving event at www.ketr.org/events.