I am coming to you today with a song in my heart, and a dream.
A dream that once you read this you will be moved to act. For the gift of giving, whether it be your time, your resources or just a few trinkets found in and around your home…well,
its like the greatest gift of all.
This season, the Christmas season, brings out all sorts of feelings. Between the twinkling lights and the festive foods, the true meaning can be lost. Unfortunately, these can be troubling times for many people…even the people next door.
For fourteen years, my friends, Terry and Lafaye Murphy, have organized a Christmas Dinner for the unfortunate people in the small country area I used to live, Cleveland Georgia.
The premise, NO ONE should ever spend Christmas day alone, was a mantra spoken reverently throughout our home. My son started working as a server and carver, my daughter helped to hand out gifts and clothes, my youngest son and I would sing with our jolly band leader,
Ken “Pappy” Sanders.
It was and is always a blessing. Terry wears a Santa hat, and helps the older people with their plates, walks along with them through the GENTLY USED CLOTHING area, scoring bags and bags of items that would otherwise be tossed away. Donations come into various stores and areas around the county, and on Christmas Eve, the workers gather and organize the hundreds and hundreds of new toys for the children and their families to find the following day.
Children from all ages, come with their families and are treated to a lovely meal, gifts and each child, every one…gets a new toy!
Terry and Lafaye also arrange for meals to be delivered to the elderly, disabled and shut ins, further perpetrating the message…NO ONE left behind, no one left alone.
In my experience, the food is wonderful, the fellowship unlike anything you would ever imagine. Their children have grown to be selfless successful adults, and I would like to think it is this tradition of giving that has instilled that benevolent attitude in us all.
Everyone is welcome, no one is turned away…and there is always a side bet as to how long Lafaye’s voice will hold out…as she usually winds up whispering her instructions towards the end of the day.
What brings me to come to you, dear reader, is that with two weeks to go, the donations are not coming in as fast as we’d like, and the food items and new gifts for the older children are scarce at best.
So if you are in the North Georgia area, look around your house, pick up an extra can of beans or sweet potatoes, donate a ham or dessert…
And if you are not…there is something you can do…
Donations are 100% deductible, and anything monetary can be sent to Mt Yonah Book Exchange 3779 Helen Hwy Cleveland Georgia, 30528…Ellen Schlossberg proprietor Checks can be made out to Caring Hands Ministry.
If you want a real blessing…come to the event!!
Community Christmas Dinner
Sunday December 25, 2016
At the Sautee Nacoochee Center
(283 Hwy. 255 Sautee, Ga. 30571)