By Kay Whatley
This morning, as I pondered the upcoming holiday and the plight of displaced North Carolina residents, I opened Facebook to check for any new free Thanksgiving dinner announcements.
Instead, I saw this Bible passage, posted by my niece today:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
I believe that many have troubled hearts in our state. While we lucky ones have weathered Hurricane Matthew and escaped the following floods, there are thousands still displaced from their homes — homes condemned, in need of repair, blocked from occupancy. These past few weeks since the waters receded, many have been housed in temporary accommodations. There are ways we can help our fellow citizens in trouble, and assist our maker in warming their hearts.
While we shop for turkey and side dish ingredients, they worry where they will spend their holiday, and if they’ll face Christmas without their home. You can donate food at local grocery stores, church food pantries, and donation events around the area, now and through the holidays.
Monetary donations can be made to organizations helping those in need. If you’re not sure where to donate, there is an emergency fund for NC Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster at www.ncvoad.org/cms which describes how funds are used to help locally. That site also shows volunteer opportunities if you’d like to offer a helping hand.
So as your loved ones gather, as your turkey roasts, and as you sit to eat together, I hope that you’ll consider those who are missing a family Thanksgiving this year. You might even invite a few extra people to the table, if you know they’re going to be alone.
There are several public Thanksgiving meals in the area, though certainly this is not a complete list:
- Thanksgiving Breakfast (November 24, 2016 @ 6-11am) — Annual breakfast hosted by Pilot Lions Club, located at 50 Pilot Bypass Road, Zebulon NC. Eggs, sausage, ham, grits, homemade biscuits, and drinks — all for a donation to the Club. Visit the Club website at www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/pilotusa.
- KCM’s Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner (November 24, 2016 @ 11am-12pm) — Thanksgiving Day community meal offered at Kairos Church Ministries, 1003 Lodge Street S, Wilson NC. Transportation available; call 252.291.8838 for more information.
- Thanksgiving Meal (November 23, 2016) — Zebulon United Methodist Church is serving dinner in their fellowship hall in Zebulon NC. Call 919.269.9408 for details.
Offering thoughts and prayers, giving if you can, and reaching out to those struggling since Hurricane Matthew are all ways to help warm the wounded hearts. You may find that it lifts your heart up just a bit, too.