Local volunteers devote their Thanksgivings to others

NOW: Local volunteers devote their Thanksgivings to others

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Most of us are thankful for a plate full of fixins’ shared with family on Thanksgiving. For some in the community, Thanksgiving is about giving back.

“If I were to get preachy, it’s what God would want,” says Pastor Tony Fields from the Lighthouse Church of God in New Buffalo. “He’d want us to gather together and gather together more often.”

For Pastor Fields and the many volunteers at the Lighthouse Church of God, it’s about giving folks a place to gather for the holiday and providing the only ‘open door’ Thanksgiving dinner in Berrien County.

“It was a need within the congregation itself, but also too, I said ‘Well, if we’re going to do that, how about we just open the doors?’” Pastor Fields says.

One of the volunteers at Hope Ministries in South Bend decided to turn her loss into an act of giving this year.

“Unfortunately, my mother passed away this year, and so I am alone,” says Linda Meade, a volunteer at Hope Ministries. “Hope Ministries does this every year, and they open their doors to not only the residents here, but also people from the streets who are like me, who may be alone for the first time ever.”

Both are thankful they’re able to provide the essence of Thanksgiving, not just celebrating what they have, but what they’re able to provide.

“Many times, especially in the country in which we live, everybody’s here and there and everywhere, and it’s good to see the families come back together,” says Pastor Fields.

“Being able to be somewhere and to be safe, and to be warm, and to have a warm meal; whether this is their only meal or whether this is the best meal, I know this is something they’ll remember and they’ll think about,” says Meade. “This is what Thanksgiving, and all of the other holidays are about, giving back to others.”

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