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Friday, May 6, 2016

Big hearts, big effort...and bigger needs

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

City Outreach volunteers, from left, Wendy Holman, Jennifer Greschel and Julie Faulkner prepare cheeseburgers for the children and family members taking advantage of the soup kitchen Saturday.
(T-G Photo by Kent Flanagan) [Order this photo]
It's that time of year again -- when we're thankful for what we have and mindful of what others don't have.

And this year, there are plenty of those who "don't."

City Outreach Ministries is one agency that aims to help locals during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

More children and family members file into the City Outreach fellowship hall for a meal Saturday.
(T-G Photo by Kent Flanagan)
Largest effort

"We're going to have more kids on our list this year than ever before," said pastor Scott Horn of City Outreach. "We really need help or some of these kids, I'm afraid, are going to fall through the cracks this year.

"A lot of people don't start thinking about donating until the last minute and that really hurts us. I'm afraid we're going to fall short this year."

Horn is gearing up for the ministry's annual mission to give back. It all kicks off with City Outreach's free Thanksgiving dinner, scheduled for Saturday at the ministry's Burt Street location.

"We fed around 1,200 people last year," he said. "We had people sitting inside and outside."

Donations are now being accepted to make that dinner a success, but looking ahead a little farther, Horn has his eyes set on his newest project that will help those in need of a hot meal -- the start of a soup kitchen.

Weekly meals

Starting the first of the year, Horn plans to feed anyone in need of a meal every Saturday (they had their first meal last Saturday).

"There are too many kids that leave school on Friday and don't get to eat again until they're back at school on Monday," Horn said. "That's just not right. At least with (the soup kitchen) they'll be able to get one good meal on the weekends."

Back to Nov. 19's Thanksgiving dinner, it's an important meal in more ways than one. Not only can those in need get a good, home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner, they can get food to take home for their own dinner.

They can also get signed up for Christmas, if they're not yet signed up with another organization.

"This is the day we take names for that," he said. "I'm worried, because this year we're going to have more kids than last year."

Toys for Christmas

The ministry holds a toy giveaway shortly before Christmas every year, providing toys, games, clothes and food boxes to families in need. Everything is donated or purchased with donated money.

Horn kicked off fundraising efforts for the holiday season with a recent fundraiser that featured country musicians.

"We raised about $5,000 and I just want to thank everyone who came out, who donated and helped us with that," he said.

You can help

Call (931) 684-9984 for more information about City Outreach Ministries.