Hundreds of frozen turkeys to be given out for Thanksgiving
On a gray and rainy Thursday morning, one Palatka-based group worked to brighten Thanksgiving for many families across the region.
About two dozen volunteers gathered outside the St. Johns River Baptist Association building off Laurel Street to hand out frozen turkeys to member churches.
Asa Greear, executive director for the association, said 575 turkeys were distributed to 30 churches. Fifty-four churches belong to the association, with the majority of them in Putnam County. The association also includes churches from St. Johns, Flagler and Clay counties.
“It’s a continued reflection to us that our counties are giving communities,” Greear said.
Individual churches plan to give the turkeys to residents in need.
“Our member churches have put back some money every week and we’ve had some donations from others,” Greear said. “Churches designate somebody to come pick them up. We pray with them and for their churches.”
Greear said the annual giveaway is even more important this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted many financially.
“We know there are a lot of people who are hurting,” Greear said. “A lot of churches have put the word out that the turkeys will be available to those in need. Some people won’t say much, but their neighbors know them.”
Greear said the turkey donation leads to many churches providing other food items to fill boxes for people who are in need with Thanksgiving less than a week away.
“Church members fill up boxes with cans of yams, whatever,” Greear said. “We had one person say their Social Security check wouldn’t arrive until later in the month and they wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving this year. We told them we would have a box for them.
“Individual churches take ownership in ministering to those in need.”
Greear thanked the Palatka Walmart for its support in providing the turkeys at a reduced cost this year. He said the 575 turkeys were purchased for $5,600.
“Walmart has just been a blessing in working with us,” Greear said. “They’ve put a few turkeys back each week to make sure we would have enough.”
Rudy Howard, pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Bardin, prayed with volunteers after the truckload of turkeys were unloaded and distributed.
“Every year the association of churches give to a turkey fund and we provide these turkeys to people who are in need,” Howard said. “And we share the gospel of Christ with them.”
Jennifer Jones from Ancient City Baptist in St. Augustine was one of the volunteers Thursday.
“It’s just serving others,” Jones said. “Especially right now, it’s a blessing for everyone involved.”
Copyright 2020 by Palatka Daily News - all rights reserved.