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Something to be thankful

by Brian Clarey

A Thanksgiving patron at Potter’s House, part of Greensboro Urban Ministry’s holiday efforts, has something to grin about. (courtesy photo)

This Thursday, most of us will gather with family and friends, belly up to tables laden with the bounty of the autumn harvest:

turkey and trimmings, cranberry sauce, pies of every stripe. We’ll gorge ourselves and sink into couches to watch football, and then make late-night turkey sandwiches with whatever’s left over.

But not everybody will celebrate the holiday in this fashion.

In Guilford County, 17 percent of the residents live below the poverty line. It’s 16.5 percent in Forsyth County. Among them are an alarming number of families, children and the elderly. For them, a proper Thanksgiving may rely on the generosity of others.

Many churches and outreach programs feed the hungry on Thanksgiving — this is a partial list of places where people who need it can get their turkey and stuffing on for free. If you’re in need, find one near you. If you’re not, consider volunteering your time this Thanksgiving before counting your blessings, or making a donation of cash, non-perishable food or winter clothing.

And remember that poverty, homelessness and hunger happen all year long.

GUILFORD COUNTY

Cross Roads Restaurant; 1800 Westchester Drive, High Point; 336.475.2455 x21 His Laboring Few, a biker ministry specializing in addicts, convicts, prostitutes and homeless, will be serving Thanksgiving dinner at the Cross Roads Restaurant in High Point beginning at 11 a.m. And they will be delivering more than 3,500 meals to shut-ins and the sick beginning at 9 a.m. Please call for inclusion on the list.

Potter’s House, Greensboro Urban Ministry; 305 W. Lee St., Greensboro; 336.271.5959 This one is the granddaddy of Greensboro’s Thanksgiving Day outreach programs, attracting volunteers from every socioeconomic class in the city, feeding thousands on site and thousands more through delivery service. Funds come through the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro’s Thanksgiving Fund, with donations from citizens, restaurants and churches throughout the city. This one is special to me as it was begun in 1987 by my old boss at Bert’s Seafood, Mary Lacklen. It begins at 10:30 a.m., with deliveries running all morning. Call for details and reservations.

FORSYTH COUNTY

First Baptist Church; 501 W. 5th St., Winston- Salem; 336.722.558 First Baptist plans to feed 300 this Thanksgiving, both on site and through delivery for the needy and infirm. The day begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m. Please call for delivery service.

Samaritan Ministries; 1243 Patterson Ave., Winston-Salem; 336.748.1962 Samaritan Ministries serves the hungry every Thursday, but Thanksgiving takes on a special significance, with turkey, ham and whatever else the volunteers and donors get together. Dinner is open for the homeless, shut-ins and the sick from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Please call for delivery.

Winston Lake YMCA; 901 Waterworks Road, Winston-Salem; 336.724.9205 The Winston Lake YMCA swim team holds this annual Thanksgiving breakfast event, which begins at 7:30 a.m. and lasts until the food runs out. Members of the team will also be passing out winter gear — hats, coats, gloves and the like — for anyone who needs it.

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