Emmet County Church Holds Free Thanksgiving Meal

Saturday, 25 Nov, 2017

Pastor Neil Taylor said the meal was a way to bring the community together to celebrate the holiday each year.

"This is a community effort and it's a lovely thing to see people from all different walks of life come together to put this together and make this happen", The Rev. Kathryn Beilke said.

"God says help everybody - feed those that can't feed themselves; clothe those who can't clothe themselves", said Burney, 57. They didn't know anyone in the area, but saw an advertisement for the dinner 14 years ago, and chose to swing by.

"This is the first time we've been by ourselves in 42 years of marriage", Dan said.

Those with the church say this is an important part of their outreach.

"I am always free on Thursday because my family has Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday", he said.

"We're also feeding law enforcement today in Daphne and in Fairhope, several folks from Spanish Fort to Foley that we're delivering meals to, but also folks that are working in gas stations and in different places along the way", explained organizer, Jennifer Myrick. Everybody wants to do this. "And asking people what kind they want". I don't see this going away.

A hot cooked meal is what they show in return for emergency officials who never stop protecting us all.

Joy Eckert is now a grad student in D.C., but she still finds the time to come home and volunteer with Operation Turkey. A year ago more than 400 meals were delivered. "I love it. People are really nice here".

Guza is retired from serving, and was enjoying the dinner as a guest this year.

She said the organization hopes to partner with the Orwell American Legion Post next year. "We could be up at 350 or more". "People step up and donate their time and their money", said Reitzel, a member of the church committee overseeing the event.

"This is a wonderful way of serving people", Cairns said.

Volunteers such as Medina spent their Thanksgiving helping others and said no one should miss out on the holiday because they cannot afford a meal. Usually, Dan said, the couple would help with the meal and then go home and have family coming to visit through the rest of the holiday weekend.

"Trinity is just really happy to have people come and spend Thanksgiving with us and join our family if they need a place to be". "But I'm also a believer that there comes a time when you've got to step aside and let other people step up and do their thing". "So we're just grateful that we're able to do this".

"I was born on Thanksgiving", Bates said, "so this is how I get my Thanksgiving celebration". Marti has worked as a server every Thanksgiving for 30 years. "Everything is so good. It's a good feeling and I will be back next year, for sure", he said.

"I'm thankful for just being alive - the world is so insane right now", he said.