A thanksgiving meal for all

Hannah Swayze • Nov 22, 2018 at 8:03 PM

The hallmark of Thanksgiving is a a beautiful turkey dinner: stuffing, yams, green beans and cranberry sauce. 

The Haven of Mercy knows this and, willing to fill a need, hosted its annual all-day Thanksgiving feast where any and everyone is welcome to a warm Thanksgiving meal and company to enjoy it with. 

Brianna Couch, with the Haven, said the annual dinner is not just for those who can’t afford it. The meal is also a act of kindness extended to the community and everyone who helps them out during the year, to help people who are struggling and just to provide a warm meal for everyone. Last year the Haven served approximately 3,500 meals.

“This is a ‘thank you. We know you’re out there’ and we’re trying to do something and everything we can to help,” Couch said.

Well over 20 volunteers showed up throughout the day to help serve food in the Haven’s small kitchen. Washing dishes, setting up and cooking, community members pitched in on Wednesday and then again on Thursday well before noon to help serve. 

Linda Skinner has been a volunteer with the ministry for about three years, and she and Christi Collins volunteer their time and efforts at the ministry’s thrift store in Boones Creek. She said the day was hectic but great with plenty of volunteers. 

Cameron Colbaugh is a student at East Tennessee State University studying social work. She and her mother and father came in later in the day to help out serving and cleaning. Colbaugh said the family recently lost their grandparents so they were looking to start a new tradition.

“Instead of having our own family thing, we decided to come out and spend it it with other people who might not have a lot of family,” Colbaugh said. 

The Haven on Mercy is located at 123 W. Millard St. in Johnson City. The Haven will also have a community meal at Christmas for anyone who might need a warm meal or would want to volunteer their time.

The Haven is also always taking donations for their thrift stores at 1017 Quality Circle and 218 N. Broadway St. Anything and everything is needed. Anything donated to be used at the Haven, like clothes and food, can be dropped off at Haven of Mercy on West Millard. 

To volunteer or for more information, call 423-929-0616.


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