Large or Small, Prayers Were Answered at the 28th Annual Thanksgiving Food Basket Giveaway
The 28th Annual Thanksgiving Food Basket Giveaway Draws Hundreds
WHEELING –They came from near and far, stood in the crisp Saturday morning, waiting for the opportunity to receive a Thanksgiving turkey and more. They were not disappointed.
Saturday morning marked the 28th annual Thanksgiving food basket giveaway provided by Bethlehem Apostolic Temple in North Wheeling. Under the direction of the church’s pastor, the Rev. D.W. Cummings, and its Food Ministries, hundreds of people received enough food for a Thanksgiving Day feast and several days more. In addition, children were provided school supplies and there was clothing and personal hygiene items for all ages.
Cummings offered a blessing over the crowd prior to admitting them inside. Before the day was over, 652 people were helped.
The giveaway was held at the church’s Dream Center at 407 N. Main St. where a previous leaking roof had threatened the event. With that situation corrected, the center was lined with tables laden with food items, including the all-important turkeys. There were some hams, canned goods, bakery items and more thanks to the generous donors and the church’s fundraising efforts throughout the year.
As one young man came through the line, he was told there were some steaks available, too. He said, “I haven’t tasted steak in years.” He added a steak to his basket.
Another woman and her young child were all smiles as grandma filled a baby stroller for much-welcomed food items. They left with smiles all around. A man from Cameron brought a friend from Glen Easton. They said there was nothing like the giveaway in their area so they made the trip to Wheeling.
Volunteers from various agencies, businesses and individuals from the community made the process easy and convenient for those attending. Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger manned the front door along with Marty Haynes, a member of the department’s civilian police. Ohio County Sheriff Tom Howard and several police and deputies assisted throughout the event, including operating a cruiser outside to assure the safety of those crowded onto the sidewalk in front of the center. Several city firefighters also took turns helping out.
Howard said he and his department make it a point to be involved in such community events. “When you see all the volunteers here, it tells you a lot about the community. Rev. Cummings has a huge heart and you just want to help.”
A trio of local siblings, Erin and Bob Scott joined their sister Trish to help distribute clothing and other items. When asked why they were there, Trish said, “I told my sister I thought it was a good cause and that I was going to volunteer. She said she would do it, too, and then we told our brother and he’s here.” All three said they enjoy helping others.