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."

Friday, November 26, 2004

A Truly Thankful Thanksgiving

As most of you may have already read, the day before Thanksgiving, we had to have people who are homeless leave the property. Although it was a very sad occasion, many people came together to assist in motel rooms. We had already made plans for a big, busy Thanksgiving day and decided to keep them. But, when Geoff and I woke up, the phone started ringing from different TV stations. They wanted to find out what our plans were and could they come to do a story. I told them we were taking meals out to people living in the weekly motels. Then, shortly after I hung up the phone, an advocate for the homeless, Dennis Grannon and his family, showed up to volunteer. Then by 11:00 we had a full house. TV reporters, friends, volunteers, and displaced homeless friends were gathered around. Williamsburg United Methodist delivered Thanksgiving fixings in bulk to our home so we could prepare dinners. Everyone was busy making plates, bagging food, being interviewed and loading the Jeep. Even Craig Civale helped out in between news reports.

Then it was off to Family Inn to meet up with some of the guys who use to stay with us and deliver food. At Family Inn alone we had 30 people that signed up for Thanksgiving meals. Craig followed us around and interviewed people at the motel. Steve, one of our homeless friends, said
"This is the best Thanksgiving, since my mother passed away! I am enjoying greeting people when they open the door with food and Happy Thanksgiving!"
I think even the news reporter enjoyed it. Meanwhile, back at the house, people were still busy making more dinners for the other deliveries.

After we were finished, Alicia and I drove all our displaced friends back to the house for lunch and a breather before heading out to the next set of motels. Our home was filled with joy as we were celebrating a 'family reunion'. Steve, Smitty and I headed out to Super 8 motel down the road from our house. When I went inside to get the list from the manager, he said "Oh good you are here this year! I wasn't sure if you were coming, but I know the guest will be glad." After 8 rooms, we decided to go to Anderson Corner. Last year I didn't deliver there, but thought it would be worth the drive. Well, it wasn't because we found out when we arrived the County had closed down the motel. Actually, several of the motels I delivered to last year had been closed. No wonder so many people are displaced in Williamsburg. By 4:30, we had delivered 80+ meals and were tired. Unfortunately, we have many more meals needing to be delivered.

We went back home to watch the news cast and fix dinner for our family. By 8:00 we were all gathered (well almost all of us because some people had to work) around the table in prayer for being together once again and the bountiful food God provided. Smitty slipped out onto the deck to reflect upon dinner and the fact he hasn't had a family Thanksgiving in over 6 years. His mother is in a nursing home, one of his brothers passed a few months ago with cancer and his other brother's wife is currently passing as well.
"This is the closest thing I have to a family in many years and now we are taken away from you" he said with tears in his eyes.
Shortly after pumpkin pie, Geoff drove everyone back to their motels. We didn't want to take a chance on the turkey making everyone sleepy (as it always does) and people falling asleep at our home and us being in violation of having homeless people sleeping at our house!

But, by the end of the evening, we were all thankful for being together, praising God and feeding people who had no financial means for a Thanksgiving meal or family to spend it with.

2Co 9:12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many acts of thanksgiving to God.


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