Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Saturday, November 15, 2003

As Thanksgiving Day grows closer, most of us are consumed with grocery lists, guest lists and post Turkey Day diet plans. Some of us are already unpacking the Christmas lights, knowing we need the extra time to untangle the many strands that await to be hung by our husbands while the wives are out shopping on the busiest sale day of the year. Those of us who are kind hearted help the churches prepare the many meals that are distributed to the elderly, people who are shut-in, less fortunate families or the needy.

But, there lies a class within Greater Williamsburg that are overlooked, not only on a daily basis, but sadly enough during the holidays: the homeless. The working homeless that live in the few weekly motels (although these motels are slowly becoming extinct,) are allotted the kindness and convenience of a hot meal delivered to them by many of the churches; but what about the homeless that sleep beneath our bridges, or abandoned buildings or in the woods? The convenience of delivering a hot Thanksgiving meal to them is a problem. How many people would go out searching under the bridges or into the woods with cooked turkeys and all the trimmings?

This Thanksgiving and Christmas in Williamsburg has a new twist though for the homeless. Patti McKenzie (founder of Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent) and her husband Geoff will be opening their house on Nov. 25th with a Thanksgiving dinner invitation extended to all the people who are homeless, live in the weekly motels or lost their home due to Hurricane Isabel. With no strings attached, just people fellowshipping and giving thanks with each other. Transportation will be provided for all that need rides as well. And the excitement doesn't end when the leftovers are distributed, dishes washed and stomachs are full. While many others are out shopping or hanging Christmas decorations, the McKenzies are taking names, ages and Christmas gift wishes for their program, "Adopt-A-Homeless for Christmas." This is along the same line as the "Angel Wish Tree" program, except the adoptees are homeless people and their children. We have met several people that have suffered through 4 - 10 Christmases without a gift, stocking or even a card. Their wishes vary from warm coats, bikes, and sweaters to jobs, a friend to talk with and hope.

Patti and Geoff are still searching for a store to sponsor the placement of the Christmas tree filled with adoptees. They have already received several people who have signed up for the program, in hopes to have their wish fulfilled or a stocking on Nov. 23rd when Santa makes his appearance at the McKenzies' Christmas celebration. If you would like additional information, want to donate food or time for either event, are homeless and want to sign up for either event or are interested in adopting a homeless person/child call 561-3255.


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