Thirty-nine local families in need will have a Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings this year.
They will feast on that holiday meal thanks to the generosity of The Good Samaritan ministry and the Halifax Area Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Both organizations donated turkeys for the giveaway.
“This is the most turkeys we’ve given away at Thanksgiving in a long time,” said Ian Rigney, secretary of The Good Samaritan’s board of directors, noting the increasing need in the community for food assistance.
Community members/families identified by the Halifax County Department of Social Services as being most in need this holiday season stopped by The Good Samaritan food pantry in South Boston on Monday morning to pick up the Thanksgiving turkeys and other food items.
The recipients thanked the volunteers handing out the food items, expressing their appreciation for a blessing that for them was nothing short of a Godsend this holiday season.
For Theresa Luckart of Virgilina, it means she will be able to share a plentiful Thanksgiving dinner at home with her son, possibly the last Thanksgiving dinner she will share with him.
“God is good,” said Luckart’s sister Michelle Dixon, who came with her Monday morning to pick up the Thanksgiving turkey and fixings. “She has Stage 4 lung cancer, so this means a lot because it’s making her happy in her end of days; she might not be here next year. It means something to her to be able to have Thanksgiving dinner in her home.”
Luckart said if she had not received the donated turkey and all the fixings, her Thanksgiving meal this year would have been “minimal.” Now, she and her son will enjoy a dinner of turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, pumpkin pie and more.
Another recipient, Mary Moorman of South Boston, also expressed her gratitude for the Thanksgiving meal items.
“I thank God for providing me a turkey for Thanksgiving,” she shared.
While Luckart, Moorman and 27 other recipients made the trip to The Good Samaritan location in the basement of First Baptist Church of South Boston, 10 additional families received Thanksgiving turkeys at The Good Samaritan’s Republican Grove location.
Not only did the recipients of the Thanksgiving turkeys count the food as a blessing, but those providing the food viewed giving to those in need as a blessing, as well.
“It’s very rewarding. I feel like I’ve been blessed way more than I deserve and it’s very rewarding to give back,” said Robbie Smart, president of The Good Samaritan ministry’s board of directors. “Some of these people are so thankful. They’re giving thanks to me, but the glory is to God. You bless others and you end up with more blessings.”
To him, giving to community members in need during the holiday season follows Jesus’ teaching to love your neighbor as yourself in the Biblical Parable of The Good Samaritan.
“There is no better way to love your neighbor,” Smart stated, regarding the food giveaway. Aside from the Thanksgiving turkey giveaway, The Good Samaritan ministry offers emergency food assistance to people in need year-round at its South Boston and Republican Grove locations.
Rigney also noticed the appreciation for the holiday food items shown by the recipients at Monday’s giveaway.
“They are so humble and so willing to receive,” Rigney said, adding, “It means a lot to me to know that these families are going to have a good Thanksgiving that they might not have had if we had not provided this. It’s nice being able to give them some joy this time of year.”
The Good Samaritan has partnered with the Halifax Area Chapter of the NWTF for a number of years to provide the Thanksgiving giveaway for local families in need.
“It’s part of giving back to our community,” said NWTF Halifax Area Chapter President Judy Vaughan, explaining NWTF chapters all over Virginia take part in making donations to food banks during the holiday season.
Vaughan said the primary goal of the NWTF is conservation of wildlife and the forests, but when the organization gets involved in giving back to the community, it is a “plus” and means a lot to everybody involved. Vaughan added the organization currently needs committee members and volunteers. Anyone interested in joining the NWTF should contact Sara Jones, chapter secretary, at 434-579-2312.
Monday’s Thanksgiving turkey giveaway was a true community effort. The Food Lion grocery stores in Centerville, Riverdale and Brookneal helped provide the turkeys at a lower cost. At The Good Samaritan’s Republican Grove location, members of Clover Bottom Baptist Church provided the fixings to accompany the Thanksgiving turkeys.