For many over the past 24 years, the day represents a day to give of their time to prepare and deliver hot meals to those who might have otherwise gone hungry on the special holiday.
Over 100 volunteers gathered inside the Corinth Middle School cafeteria Thursday morning to assemble 800 traditional Thanksgiving dinners, then distribute them throughout Corinth and Alcorn County.
First Presbyterian Church spearheads the outreach project, but many other members in the community join hands on this day of giving back.
“You will be blessed today as you come forth and serve,” said Dr. Don Elliott, pastor of First Presbyterian as he spoke to the many volunteers. “We are a blessed people.”
While giving thanks to the Lord, Dr. Elliott praised those present who every year take part as a way to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Entire families participate, some in food preparation, over 60 in packaging the meals in carry-out boxes, then many in delivery.
Half of the 800 meals were taken to homes, noted Dr. Elliott.
Dick Atkins, in charge of the meal assembly, has been volunteering all 24 years.
“It’s church members working together,” said Atkins. “This is a different situation than at church. This is quality time with people. Many people here today are friends of the church.”
“There are many volunteers who have been here all 24 years,” he said.
Stephen Holley has been part of the delivery leadership team for 24 years. He credited the participation of many families to the success of the outreach. “I am glad to be a part,” he added.
Dr. Elliott said the delivery and carry-out orders are the key to the success of the program. When about 30 families came to the church to have Thanksgiving dinner the first year or so, the delivery idea began.
For many years recently, the church had to put a cap of 1,000 dinners, he said.
“Numbers began exploding when delivery started,” noted the pastor. “People want to be with family and at home on Thanksgiving Day.”
In the meanwhile, many community minded people come together in a Thanksgiving Day tradition in a spirit of giving -- folks like Jimmy Caldwell.
“I’m just here to help,” noted Caldwell, whose two grown children attend First Presbyterian. “This is one way to give back to the community.”