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Churches, Groups Provide Traditional Giving at Thanksgiving
11/27/2013 2:22:42 PM

Valerie Blake(center) flanked by youthful assistants cheerfully served delicious dinners to over 200 guests.

By Barney Blakeney

This past weekend was a time for various charitable organizations to reach out to the local community in the spirit of giving. Throughout the Lowcountry those organizations made gifts of food and other goods. Two organizations were the C.A. Brown Alumni Association and New Israel Reformed Episcopal Church based in Charleston.

As Outreach Ministries set up to eventually feed several hundred diners a traditional Thanksgiving meal at Mall Park on Columbus Street in downtown Charleston, members of the C.A. Brown Alumni Association worked from the Trident Technical College campus across the street to fill boxes of groceries and turkeys for distribution to local residents dsignated by the Charleston Area Dept. of Social Services. The group also made its bi-annual donation of goods to Ronald McDonald House in Charleston on Saturday.

This Thanksgiving represented the eighth year the alumni association made donations of food boxes, said President Joey Washington Sr. and the third year making donations of household goods, office supplies, personal items and Teddie Bears for children to the Ronald McDonald House.

As traditional Thanksgiving dinners were served from churches such as Calvary Methodist Church on Cooper Street, playgrounds such as Mall Park and street corners such as at Meeting and Jackson streets, the spirit of giving spread northward to New Israel Reformed Episcopal Church on Simons Street.

Mrs. Estelle Ladson, chairperson of the Food Ministry said members served approximately 225 traditional Thanksgiving dinners at the Bishop S.K. Rembert Fellowship Hall Saturday includung dinners that were sent to those who could not come to the fourth annual feast.

The ministry also serves food boxes to some 225 recipients each month through its Food Share Program and has an emergency food bank available in crisis situations.

“We want to let people know we’re here,” Mrs. Ladson said.

Two other perennial Thanksgiving donors who have been busy this Thanksgiving holiday are former S.C. State Sen. Robert Ford and Charlreston Rep. Wendell Gilliard.

Ford by presstime Monday had given $20 gift cards donated by various area grocers to some 500 recipients. Gilliard Monday expected to distribute about 600 turkeys Tuesday along with 80 hot meals.

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