Midlands Churches Serve Dinner To Those In Need

5:51 PM, Nov 22, 2012   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The Carolina Coliseum was packed Thursday, but not with any USC basketball fans.

Two local churches gave their time to make sure some of those less fortunate here in the Midlands had a proper Thanksgiving.

"It's just great to see this many people in Columbia that are volunteering their time on a holiday like this to help other people," said Teena Farrar, who's been volunteering with the event for several years.

About 150 volunteers from St. Peters Catholic and First Baptist churches gathered at the Carolina Coliseum to prepare meals for those who didn't have much of a Thanksgiving. Even state royalty couldn't get a spot on the volunteer list.

"I called to volunteer and they said that there were so many people in the community that wanted to volunteer that they had actually reached their maximum number," said reigning Miss SC USA Megan Pinckney. "So I just decided to stop by on my way home to Charleston before I went and ate with my family just to come by and tell everyone happy Thanksgiving."

This marks the 22nd annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Dinner and many volunteers have been around throughout the years.

"Since I've been doing it several years, one or two people that I see throughout the years say 'Are we going to have the food on Thanksgiving Day,'" Farrar said. "And that's a joy to know that they look forward to that, just like we look forward to having family together."

And for some volunteers, they've been around in a different capacity.

"I have been among the less fortunate and have actually had to live on the streets," said Willie Hampton, who's been volunteering with his church for 10 years. "I just give thanks to God and I just do it, not to be recognized or not to be seen. It's a service to God and I give him praises."

While the people being served believe that the dinner is a blessing, it's the volunteers who consider themselves blessed.

"I've been blessed because God says the least you do unto my brethren, you have done unto me," Hampton said. "And I notice the more I do things to give God the praise and worship, the more blessings I get.

Event organizers said they served over 1,000 dinners.

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