Charitable organizations in Henry getting ready for holiday needs
By Jason A. Smith
Thanksgiving is approaching fast, and local business owner Sherrin Duncan hopes to meet the holiday needs of others while, at the same time, reaching them on a spiritual level.
“If God gives you a task, He’s going to give you a way to complete it,” says Duncan. “I just knew that this was something I needed to do.”
A helping hand can mean so much. This holiday season, support our local non-profit organizations who help the less fortunate have a better life. Photo by Nick Vassy
Her newly-founded charitable organization, 100Peopleaday .org, will give away a total of 100 turkeys Saturday from 9-11 a.m., at two Curves Fitness Centers in Henry County. The centers are located at 311 Olde Towne Way in McDonough, and at 4518 N. Henry Blvd., Ste. 108 in Stockbridge.
Duncan says the seeds for her new project were planted last year.
“It was like a vision I had,” she says. “I kept getting the number 100 but I didn’t know why. I kept praying on it, and I came up with Psalm 100. I told my pastor last year in October, and it took me until this year in October for everything to come into fruition. But this year, I knew exactly what it was going to be called, and what it was going to take. So I just went with it.”
Duncan plans to provide Thanksgiving turkeys for anyone who needs them. She says as word got around about the endeavor, others in the local community began to show their support.
“I asked the businesses that I deal with if they could donate five turkeys,” she says. “I haven’t gotten one ‘no.’ It gives me the opportunity to cover both sides of the county.”
Duncan says she has events lined up for the next three months, as a tool for outreach in Henry County. Her organization will be feeding 100 people on New Year’s Day at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 637 Ga. Highway 42 S., in McDonough.
For more information, visit www.100peopleaday.org or call 404-502-3306.
Duncan is not the only one providing food to local families for Thanksgiving. Helping in His Name Food Pantry, at 85 Bellamy Place, Suite A in Stockbridge, is striving to feed as many people for the holidays as possible.
Still, that task is proving to be more difficult than in previous years, says Nola Love, president of the food pantry.
“This is a time of the year we always need extra food,” she says. “This year, we have not been able to get any turkeys from the Atlanta Food Bank. One of the things that would be great is if the community would bring us more turkeys. We need at least 500 for Thanksgiving, and we need some for Christmas also. Canned food drives are not as successful this year as last year, and donations are down. I guess everybody’s getting tense with the cost of living.”
Despite harder times than normal at the food pantry, Love says she hasn’t had to turn away anyone in need of food. Love is planning to retire from Helping in His Name later this month, but is calling on local residents to assist her and her staff in providing items for the food pantry.
She says her facility is currently “completely out” of macaroni and cheese, and is struggling to keep other popular items on the pantry shelves as well.
“We can use canned goods of any sort such as fruit, veggies, meats and any kind of boxed goods and breakfast foods,” she says.
Love adds that she is also in need of more volunteers at Helping in His Name. For more information, call 678-565-6135.
A Friend’s House is preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional turkey dinner prepared by volunteers. Nan Jenkins, director of development, says the facility goes all out to provide an enjoyable holiday season for children in crisis.
“The house will be decorated for Christmas, and we always make a big deal about tuning on the Christmas lights on Thanksgiving Day,” says Jenkins. “This time of year we just reflect on how thankful we are every day for our community, and the help they give our children all year round.”
A Friend’s House will also hold its 15th Annual Benefit Dinner Dec. 4, from 7-11 p.m., at the Merle Manders Conference Center in Stock-bridge. The event will include dinner, a silent auction, and entertainment. For more information, call 678-432-1630.
Volunteers will also pitch in to provide holiday meals for residents at Haven House, Henry County’s domestic-violence shelter. Executive Director Marjorie Lacy says although donations are down, her facility is accepting food items for distribution at Thanksgiving for her clients.
“We give them help throughout the year, and at Thanksgiving we try to help them as much as we can,” says Lacy.
For more information, call Haven House at 770-954-1008.
The Henry County Council and Henry County Senior Services are conducting the 2015 Adopt a Senior program, to provide Christmas gifts for residents ages 60 and above who are in need.
There are still about 100 seniors to be adopted in the program. Participants will get copies of wish lists for the individuals or couples chosen. Gifts can be wrapped or placed in gift bags, and can be taken to any senior center in the county by Dec. 4. Gifts will be delivered Dec. 14-18.
In lieu of buying a gift, cash donations will also be accepted. Checks can be dropped off in person or mailed to the Henry County Council on Aging, 1050 Florence McGarity Blvd., McDonough, GA, 30252-2980. Direct the checks to the attention of “Adopt a Senior.”
For more information on the program, call Ann Marie Quincey at 770-288-6975 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.