Local charities prepare for Thanksgiving rush

Local charities prepare for Thanksgiving rush

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is only a week away.

It's one of the busiest times of the year for many local non-profits, and it's a time of year they rely on you for help.

Food is such a big part of Thanksgiving, but it can be a struggle for many. As of Thursday, the shelves at the Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia food bank were at least fuller than they were a couple of weeks ago.

"But the things you see here are things that we've collected from food drive, so they're not necessarily 'the holiday things' that people are going to want to give to the family that is in need," said Executive Director of America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, Mary Jane Crouch.

Of course, items like stuffing, corn and green beans are popular for Thanksgiving. And while people are happy to receive any type of food for the holiday, Crouch is preparing for empty shelves next week because of high demand.

Second Harvest collects donated food and supplies it to other non-profits and churches in the area to distribute, but Crouch says getting through Thanksgiving is just the beginning.

"So you know we've got to gear up again for Christmas, so we're hoping that people will do food drives and remember that people all year long, not just at Thanksgiving," she said.

Meanwhile, the folks at Senior Citizens, Inc. are gearing up for a week that can be difficult for the people they serve.

"The reality is for many people they don't have a family here, or they've out-lived their families. So having somebody to show that they care with a hot meal makes a tremendous difference," said Executive Director of Senior Citizens, Inc., Patti Lyons.

Her group coordinates the "Meals on Wheels" program for the elderly.

Next Wednesday, they'll be delivering about 3,000 meals across the area - double their norm
– but they're short about 25 to 30 volunteers, since many of their regular volunteers are going out of town.

"So if somebody's got an hour in the middle of the day, and they'd like to help us deliver meals. Give us a call, we'll keep them busy," Lyons said.
About 16,000 seniors live in poverty in Coastal Georgia. Still, Lyons says the elderly often go overlooked.

If you'd like to help out, you can find contact information for America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, click here, or for more information on Senior Citizens, Inc. click here.

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