Heavy rain and cold temperatures could not slow volunteers and diners from Clayton and surrounding communities from appearing at the Civitan club on Nov. 26 for Serve the Need in Johnston County’s 4th annual Community Thanksgiving Meal, prepared for thousands of needy families throughout Johnston County. As individuals, families and group home residents flowed in from the blustery and wet weather, most expressed gratitude for the early meal. The disabled and elderly were provided easy access to the building by golf carts loaned by the Pine Hollow Golf Club.
The free meal included the traditional Thanksgiving menu of turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce and dessert donated and prepared by the Civitan Club, St. Ann Catholic and Horne Memorial Methodist Churches, the Woman’s Club of Clayton, Zaxby’s, Clayton Steak House, Waste Industries, and Clayton Residential Rentals. Turkeys were donated by Butterball and Grifols.
Volunteers from Serve the Need and the community worked as greeters, seaters, and servers. Youth groups were also involved — the Clayton HS Junior ROTC worked as parkers and baggers, St. Ann’s Faith Formation Class as card givers, and even the Girl Scout Brownie/Junior Troop in Clayton made place-mats for tables. Around 75 volunteers participated in the event.
“This was a community effort,” said Serve the Need founder and project coordinator, Dr. Norwood Williams. He attributed its success to the many community sponsors and volunteers. It was a great fellowship to those needing and deserving of a sit-down Thanksgiving meal with their families amid the warmth and friendship of caring and loving volunteers.” Over 2,200 meals were enjoyed by Johnston County families extending from Kenly to Four Oaks in need of good food and warm fellowship on the special Thanksgiving holiday.” – Kristin Williams
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