‘Kindness Club’ spearheads food drive

Published 4:54 pm Thursday, September 22, 2022

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By Angela Cutrer
Elizabethton Star
Lacey Turbyfill, the club director of The Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County, is the driving force behind a food drive for Loaves & Fishes Outreach Ministry. She hopes children’s participation in such an event will help them to have empathy for others.
“It’s important to teach kids to help their community at a young age,” she said. “I asked the kids who they wanted to help, and they said they wanted to help people who needed food.”
And so they are.
Serena Miller, director of Loaves & Fishes Outreach Ministry, said she welcomed the opportunity to work with the Kindness Club, especially since the outreach provides 250-300 hot meals four days a week for those who need it.
“We have to get really creative with pasta, rice and other fillers,” she said. “We do casseroles and soups, too.”
Recently H & H Meat Market processed a donated cow for the outreach, which brought much-needed meat to the menu. “We’ve not had meat for about the last six to eight months,” Miller said. “But I don’t fret. God supplies every month, so I just wait.”
Around 20 volunteers help Miller out cooking, sorting, browning hamburger meat and other prep work necessary to make so many meals.
It’s not so much homeless people eating these meals, Miller said. “We have a few, but mainly it’s just people who can’t make it with this inflation. Food costs so much, as does everything else, and a lot of these people are elderly and there are those taking care of their grandchildren. I really don’t know how people are going to make it.”
Three churches groups — Southside Christian, a combo of the Presbyterian and Brown’s Chapel Church, and the Methodist church bring casseroles three times a month — enough to feed everyone on one day. They used to be part of the “Feed the Multitude” program which had to close because of COVID-19. Now the church members cook for Loaves & Fishes each month to still be of service for those who are hungry.
Miller said she sees that as such a blessing: “We are always needing donations,” she said. “And the churches helping means so much. Last month, for example, was really hard and we were scraping by, so every little bit helps. You might think when you donate a bag of groceries that it isn’t much, but it might just be what a child needed that day.”
That empathy for the well-being of others is what The Boys & Girls Club hopes to instill in their young members.
“The Kindness Club’s choice of helping Loaves & Fishes comes from the children’s hearts and is part of our core values,” said Charlene Ray, the director of resource and development for the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County. “We strive to do the right thing every day. We work effectively within and across teams, we engage and empower others.
“We are accountable and stewards of all our resources. We treat others with respect, and express gratitude and we work to continuously improve ourselves and our organization.”
Loaves & Fishes Outreach is a ministry of River’s Edge Fellowship Church in Elizabethton. The ministry has been serving the community of Elizabethton and Carter County since January 2018.
Visit them at 1200 Highway 19-E Bypass or call 423-543-4901.

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