(Orange, Texas)

November 27, 2013

Granting 100 families with Thanksgiving dinners

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Sick or homebound congregation members of Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, 612 3rd Street, Orange, have one more blessing to count this Thanksgiving.

Members of the church strive each year to minister to 100 families by donating 100 Thanksgiving dinners to those in need of assistance.

Sandra Cook said the dinner she received through the church was a blessing.

“This is my first year on my own,” Cook said. “I am all on my own and now I have no worries.”

Without family this year, Cook would not have had a Thanksgiving dinner without the contribution from the church.

“This is our third year of this annual event,” Chairperson Verdell Horn said. “The pastor and First Lady had a vision which started this. It takes all these people working together to make it happen.”

Horn is referring to the many volunteers who were assembling boxes and bags on Monday with everything one would need to prepare a holiday dinner, including the eggs and butter.

Not all the dinners are donated to the congregation members.

“We adopted the Oaks Apartments,” Horn said. “What is left we will donate there. We usually have 15-20 left.”

Celia Cotton, 71, retired from the City of Orange, volunteered to help assemble the dinners.

“I can’t do much,” Cotton said. “But I can do this.” Tahj Amerson, 6, helped by opening bags for other volunteers to place items such as eggs and butter.

“I am enjoying helping,” Amerson said.

Amerson also carried a bag to car for his great grandmother.

The Young Adult Christian Crew (YACC), a newly formed program within the church, helped load the dinners into cars.

Quintavus Blanchard, 32, member of the YACC, said he wanted to help those less fortunate.

“We want to give back to the community,” Blanchard said. “This is a way to minister through our church.”

Pastor Dr. John H. Smith. Jr. and his wife, Cynthia B. Smith, have been with Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church for approximately four years.