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Annual collection helps set Thanksgiving table

Nov. 18, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

206 turkeys go to food bank

HUNTINGTON -- Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without the turkey. And providing one to families who might not otherwise be able to afford it was on the mind of Missio Dei's Pastor Mark White.

"When we asked the folks at the Huntington Area Food Bank what one of their greatest needs was, they told us they have the canned food to give out for Thanksgiving, but the turkeys were the missing component," White said. "We like to have turkey on Thanksgiving, and we want other people to have them, too."

The church, backed by other Gospel-centered churches in the Huntington area and known collectively as Christ Together, put on its third annual Turkeys for the Tri-State event Saturday at Pullman Square.

Last year, nearly 150 turkeys were donated by church members and those in the community. White said 206 turkeys were donated at this year's event.

"It's a goal outside of ourselves that only God can accomplish through His people," White said. "This is a simple thing we can do to show the love of Christ to those living right next to us."

Judy Neighbors of Huntington dropped off two 12-pound turkeys late Saturday morning.

"It's not much, but I hope it brings smiles and a happy Thanksgiving to whoever receives them," Neighbors said. "That's all you can ask for."

Erin Highlander, interim development director for the Huntington Area Food Bank, the beneficiary of Saturday's turkey drive, said the event has been very successful at helping them put together complete Thanksgiving meals to hand out to those served by one of the more than 260 food bank agencies in the three-state region.

"Most of us get to enjoy a family Thanksgiving dinner, and we want to try to provide that for as many people in our community as we can," Highlander said.

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