Thankful For Giving

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Thankful For Giving

Emma Humphries, Staff Writer

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According to the US Census Bureau’s survey in January 2019, 13,678 people in Forsyth County are in poverty. That’s 6.5% of the total Forsyth County population. Some of these are homeless families, battlers of addiction, and even at-risk children.

People in our school system who are in class every day are fighting battles that no one knows about. School social worker, Eron Cooper, works closely with many students who may be dealing with different things at home. “When needs are identifies at school, I get involved with students who are living in poverty. Our community is very generous and has agencies that work closely with families in poverty to provide basic needs that they cannot provide for themselves.” Donations to charities in our community help a good bit, but not everyone can afford to donate money.

Another easy option would be to donate time. Give up one Saturday a month and go to a food bank or a shelter for a few hours. Giving time is just as valuable, if not more valuable than monetary donations.

So many people live in a bubble. It is very easy to think that everyone must be as lucky as the majority of our county’s population is. There are so many areas in the community with public housing or low-income apartments filled with families who are just trying to get on their feet. 

The holiday season is fast approaching, and many of Forsyth’s people in poverty cannot afford to eat a Thanksgiving meal. Cumming First United Methodist Church is hosting its 19th annual Thanksgiving Dinner from 11 am to 1 pm on Thanksgiving day. They provide meals at no cost in their Family Life Center with all of the traditional Thanksgiving favorites. If someone in the community cannot get out of the house for a meal, a team from the church will be delivering home meals to make this holiday a little more accessible for everyone. 

Linda Childs is the organizer of the entire meal. “Good food and good fellowship abounds within the four walls of the dining room. Oh and smiles, lots of smiles and laughter from volunteers and guests.” She works with the families who attend to make their Thanksgiving special. “Some (families) are homeless, some have lost a spouse, some come bringing their families just so they can show their children how the true spirit of Thanksgiving can be shared by serving others.”

This meal cannot be done without the support of the community. There are several spots to donate various drinks and food, to set up, to work the kitchen (16 years old or older), and to clean up after. Volunteers who are willing to give time and food to this cause make the event what it is and keep it going on through the years.

Even if volunteers are enjoying their family’s feast on Thursday, there are plenty of ways to help out. Any dish donations can arrive on Monday, and food donations are ready to be dropped off Tuesday or Wednesday before the event. Family volunteers typically show up for the meal and then head off to their family meal afterward, which includes both aspects of the holiday in one.

This annual meal is just one way to assist in the community. Various organizations throughout the county, such as The Place and Family Promise, are always accepting donations of time and money. Be willing to give this holiday season to be thankful.

Link to sign up for volunteering: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080d4baba62ba57-cfumc