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Preparations begin for Up All Night Thanksgiving dinner

As locals gear up for their annual holiday dinners, one local organization is preparing for its annual “Up All Night” Thanksgiving dinner. 

For the 29th year, Up All Night is seeking donations and volunteers for its annual event that feeds more than 1,000 people on Thanksgiving Day, according to organization President Jimmy Edwards. 

“We set up on at Cannon Street School the morning of at six in the morning, and I won’t leave until all the food is gone,” Edwards said. “Without the help of the community, we cannot put this together.” 

Volunteers are asked to come and help prepare, serve and deliver meals the day of. 

“People can come the day of and spend as little to as much time as they want volunteering,” Edwards said. “I don’t put a time limit on or shifts. If you want to come spend five, 10, 15 minutes with me, that’s your time.” 

For those who are in need of a Thanksgiving dinner and cannot drive, Meals on Wheels will be helping deliver the meals in the community. 

“We deliver and then after that people can walk in, grab a meal and go or sit in and eat,” Edwards said.

Each year, Edwards said the dinner has a goal each year to feed 500 people, but it always exceeds the goal and reaches more than 1,000. 

“This is a need,” Edwards said. “There are very needy people here in LaGrange, and some of these individuals need to know they are loved. They are absolutely loved. Some people are unfortunate to not have that meal, and we try to be that spot to give them that meal.” 

Edwards said if this was something he could do every day, he would. 

“This community has been 100 percent with participation and reactions,” Edwards said. “The businesses and the people in this community have been supporting the event for a pretty long time, and I love it.” 

Edwards said that the following items are needed: monetary donations, turkeys, corn, green beans, desserts, side items, utensils and plates. 

These items can be dropped off at Lakes-Dunson-Robertson Funeral Home at 201 Hamilton Road in LaGrange, or Good Seed Christian Books at 205 South Greenwood Street. To donate or to volunteer, Edwards can be reached at (706) 443-8961. 

“This is all just about showing love,” Edwards said.