With Christmas now behind us, and the new year still to come, it’s a great time to think about those who have made the past year what it was, and the groups who worked to make the holidays a little better for everyone.
Grant Rockley, the CEO and pastor of Haven of Mercy Ministries, said his staff spent about seven days cooking and prepping for Christmas this year. This is the 42nd year that the ministry has organized their Christmas dinner, which can serves a good, hot meal to disadvantaged people living in the area.
Rockley estimated Wednesday afternoon that shelter volunteers would end up serving between 4,000 and 5,000 people before the day was over, a total that included meal deliveries. Volunteers also handed out food at the John Sevier Center and at the Unicoi County jail.
Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to be the biggest days of the year at Haven of Mercy, and this year was no different.
Inside, volunteers spooned mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, cranberries, turkey and ham onto plates and delivered them to waiting visitors. Outside, parents and kids picked up toys like monster trucks and mini-helicopters from bins and household necessities like toothbrushes and other toiletries.
And this isn’t the only Christmas dinner served in our region - there are plenty of other wonderful organizations who help those in need. But, when you think of the Haven of Mercy, and organizations like it, consider donating some of your money or time. It’s well worth it.
So this week, if you will allow me, rather than report on the news around us, I’d simply like to take the opportunity to wish everyone Happy Holidays - and a most fortuitous New Year.