In North America, the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. A lot has changed since 1621! The fact remains, Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to gather around the table and share what they are most thankful for.
Fifteen years ago, YWAM-Charlotte asked the Lord, “How can we help meet the needs that we see around us?” It was then that they were given a strategy during the Thanksgiving time. They identified 12 homes in their neighborhood who did not have the capacity, or the means, to provide a Thanksgiving meal for their family. The small team prepared a turkey for every home and then provided a grocery bag filled with green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, yams, dressing and rolls. They also included a note saying that, “We are thankful for you!” All in time for Thanksgiving!
YWAM-Charlotte has continued this “Thanks Giving Outreach” over the years. (Although, they are no longer cooking the turkeys!) This week they will be distributing these “Thanks Giving” turkeys and bags to 500 local families in need! They work with local churches, schools and DSS to identify the families. It is not simply a hand out. YWAM-Charlotte works through relationship. During the prayer time, the team asked the Spirit of the Lord to enter every household along with the turkey.
Our whole community has rallied around this special “Giving” event. Individuals and businesses give so that their neighbors will be able to provide a “dignity-filled” Thanksgiving dinner for their families. It is a joy to see our community come together in giving out to others!
This is a very special time for Todd Hedgepeth, director of YWAM-Charlotte. “No parent should ever have to explain to their children that there is not enough money to have a Thanksgiving meal. This is a day of dignity, a day of thanksgiving and celebration!”
YWAM-Charlotte is simply grateful that they get to be a part of what God is doing in their community and around the world! We can make an impact!