Holiday meal for all

Published 8:09 pm Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving morning was a buzz with activity as more than 100 volunteers formed circles and lines to assemble more than 230 Thanksgiving meals to area shut-ins.

The volunteers, which organizer Mayo Livingston said was more than last year, started arriving by 9 a.m. Thursday at the First United Methodist Church’s J.O. Smith Activities Building, and all the meals were ready and en route to those needing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner by 11 a.m.

Grace Moorhead of Bainbridge said this was her first year to volunteer for the event that has been taking place since the late 1980s. More importantly, she brought her 11-year-old son.

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She said her children—two were at home—are lucky and they receive everything they could want, but she wanted to have her son experience caring and doing for others less fortunate. After she and her son were finished with their good deed, she had to go home and cook dinner for her family.

Livingston has traditionally purchased the meals, and Winn-Dixie prepares and cooks the traditional fixings of turkey, dressing, gravy, sweet potatoes and green beans. The Pond House donates the pumpkin pies and rolls. The Methodist Church donated the plates containing the meals.

Names of those who are unable to venture out on their own or are unable to cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal are gathered and forwarded to Livingston or his son, Joe Livingston.

Most of the names come from the Senior Center, which handles the Meals on Wheels programs, as well as from churches and others.

When asked why he has done this year after year, Mayo Livingston shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t know. I just enjoy it.”