By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Putting the 'giving' in Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving 1.jpg
Jeremiah Hagan holds a tray of food as he prepares to deliver over 50 meals. This Thanksgiving Day was a day for giving back.

On Thanksgiving Day, kindness and generosity were on the menu for Jeremiah Hagan, Westwood Church of Christ, and First Presbyterian Church as collectively they served over 800 meals.

This year was especially meaningful for Hagen as he has not always been in a position to give. After a series of unfortunate events, early 2019 found him jobless, homeless, and with a bleak outlook. Through much work, effort and determination, the view from the lens of 2021 is much brighter. Hagan is now the lead maintenance man at a local business and in a position to help others. 

“We served 52 plates today. We served one family who was recently burned out of their home and one family who is disabled,” said Hagan. “We then served the displaced families and individuals of HOME who were in the area motels. It’s been hard, but it’s made me who I am today. Some people just do not know what it’s like and that’s why they are so quick to judge. Life happens. Bad things happen to good people. We all fall on hard times and sometimes it’s due to bad decisions. It’s about learning from your mistakes. I could not have spent today in any better way. I loved seeing the smiles on their faces. They smiled knowing someone cared, and that meant so much to me to see.”

A few short miles away, First Presbyterian members and community volunteers were braving the rain with a makeshift drive-thru and serving up approximately 400 to-go meals of ham, turkey, the traditional sides and desserts. 

Debbie Barnes said, “It’s a huge privilege for our church to serve the community. This is our 10th year and there is a lot of enthusiasm from our entire congregation and other volunteers. We are thankful for our many blessings.” 

Marsha Ward added to the sentiment by saying, “Our church’s mission is to love God, love others, serve the community and the world.”

Westwood Church of Christ members also braved the rainy Thanksgiving Day to serve others. Approximately 40 volunteers prepared and delivered nearly 400 meals. Likewise, this was the 10th anniversary for Westwood.  

Jay and Chancy Medley spearheaded the 2021 event. 

“This was our second year to participate in the food giveaway,” said Chancy. “The response from the families in our community was eye-opening. We enjoyed our children being a part of it as well as all of the others who played a part. It’s great to see the kids of Westwood learning how to be servants in the church. We were incredibly happy to be a part of this effort to meet the needs of these families.”