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Community Thanksgiving dinner held: Volunteers prepare, deliver meals to locals

About 25 to 30 volunteers cooked, packed and delivered meals Thursday for the Annual Community Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner. Meal preparations began at 6 a.m. at Cannon Street Elementary School, according to dinner organizer Jimmy Edwards.

“I’ve had some volunteers come in at 6:30 a.m., right now we’re beginning our delivery,” Edwards said.

Edwards said they started feeding people at noon.

“People [know] I don’t deal with numbers but our goal is 1,000, but we’re going to feed until we run out,” Edwards said.

Edwards took over the community dinner formerly named “Up All Night” from Jake Sessions, who stepped down this year due to health reasons. Edwards said other than the leadership and name change, the dinner is still the same.

Volunteer Annie Beliveau said this was her first time helping with the dinner, and she was excited to help out.

“I always wanted to do it, but something else always took precedence, but its time I made it out,” Beliveau said. “I wanted to make sure that I was going to be available for it.”

Volunteer Cason Spradlin said he helped at last year’s Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners after hearing about it from members of his church, Callaway Baptist.

“Some people who are alone this time of year think nobody cares about them, and [when] you give them food, it makes them happy and lets people know that they’re thinking about them and gives them some joy,” Spradlin said.

Edwards said they are now looking for the same donations and volunteers for the Christmas dinner. Anyone interested in volunteering for the next dinner can call Edwards at (706) 443-8961.

“It’s a good feeling to be in the environment where everybody is helping,” Beliveau said. “Everybody is enjoying what they’re doing — which is helping other people. I think that’s what Thanksgiving is all about, giving back and showing how thankful we are for what we have. For me, that is my health and strength to be able to do for others.”