Laboring willingly on holiday
On a holiday when most people take a break to relax, a blue cinder block building along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive buzzed with activity Thursday morning as dozens of volunteers spent hours preparing meals for people they most likely don’t know and may never meet.
Each Thanksgiving Day for about 20 years, His Laboring Few Ministries has provided and delivered traditional holiday meals for people in need, isolated or not able to travel from their home. At least 100 volunteers spent Thanksgiving Day preparing meals, putting them in cardboard boxes for delivery and then ferrying the food across the region. The 2,500 meals are delivered as far away as Winston-Salem, High Point and Lexington, said Avery Ervin, associate pastor with His Laboring Few.
On Thursday morning, volunteers of all ages, races and backgrounds filled part of the ministry building as they formed a make-shift Thanksgiving meal assembly line. Volunteers in the kitchen supplied turkey and sides to more than a dozen people at a long, wooden table. The volunteers quickly but carefully assembled the food in plastic foam to-go containers.
Other volunteers methodically placed the meals in cardboard boxes either for delivery or for people to pick up at the ministry building. The meal consisted of turkey, gravy, dressing, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, a roll and mashed potatoes or a baked sweet potato.
Ervin, son of His Laboring Few founder Steve Ervin, said the ministry welcomes the chance each Thanksgiving to provide the meals. “To us it’s to show the love of God to people,” Ervin told The High Point Enterprise. “We want to be there for the community. God has blessed us every year to do this, to help those who need a meal on Thanksgiving.”
This year’s meal distribution was the first since a frustratingly bizarre accident involving Steve Ervin earlier this year. On July 7 at the ministry’s annual fellowship softball game, Ervin was struck severely in the head by a softball hit from a player’s bat. The injury caused an extensive case of amnesia for Ervin, who was doing well enough Thursday to greet people at the meal distribution.
Avery Ervin said that the Thanksgiving Day campaign of charity and good works is far from a burden for the volunteers. Indeed, they are grateful to have a chance to participate.
“Everyone who’s here is because they want to be, not because they have to be,” Ervin said.
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Anyone who wants to help defer the cost of the annual Thanksgiving meal distribution by His Laboring Few Ministries in Thomasville can call 475-2455, extension 1. The ministry is at 812 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.