11/24/05 — Agencies offer help for needy

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Agencies offer help for needy

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on November 24, 2005 1:49 PM

Volunteer organizations, church groups and other charities across Wayne County were hard at work this week, ensuring that no one would go hungry on this Thanksgiving Day.

"It's really important that, during the holidays, we don't just focus on our own families, but reach out to other families in need with programs such as these," said Suzie Acree, the community investment director for United Way, which supports a number of such groups.

Throughout the year, The Community Soup Kitchen serves meals every day to the poor and hungry. Today, however, the menu will be turkey and dressing, with pie for dessert. Soup Kitchen Director Doricia Benton said the doors will be open at 112 W. Oak St. from 11 a.m. until noon today for anyone wanting a homestyle Thanksgiving dinner.

Meals on Wheels recipients got their holiday meal Wednesday through WAGES -- Wayne Action Group for Economic Solvency. Although today is a state holiday and Meals on Wheels workers are not required to make their rounds, Brownie Doss, of the organization's Nutrition and Food Services division, said some will still check in on clients to make sure they are doing all right.

In addition, WAGES employees have collected food baskets and other items in the past weeks and plan to provide those items to the most needy families in the area, Doss said.

The Lighthouse of Wayne County also will be involved in helping families today. Co-director Mary Bollin said Christmas is usually her organization's busiest holiday, but that volunteers are still planning on helping more than two dozen families with a Thanksgiving meal.

"We'll be providing 25 baskets of turkey and other foods to clients that need assistance during Thanksgiving. We were able to provide these baskets from collections from the community," she said.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul will continue its tradition of helping on Thanksgiving. For the past seven years, the society has provided a holiday meal to families in need.

"When people call, we supply them with food. Usually, it's a food basket with turkey white meat, nuts and other foods for a good dinner," society president Don Nobers said.

Last year, 345 families received food. Nobers said no one should go hungry on Thanksgiving. The society works with other organizations to make sure a family isn't left behind, he said.

The Holy Ghost Drawing Community Crisis Center is also continuing its tradition of helping the needy at Thanksgiving. This will be the 23rd year the center has helped feed the homeless in Wayne County. Adeen George of the center said workers will deliver free plates throughout Goldsboro at noon today, and then open their doors at 602 S. Slocumb St. at 1 p.m. to serve more plates to the homeless.

Putting a hot meal on the table isn't the only way some organizations help. Others give those in need a place to stay until a more permanent residence can be found. At the City Rescue Mission, Natalie Kemp said there is room for those that need a place to stay. People seeking shelter there enter as part of a 90-day program to help them redirect their lives.

She said the mission needs support from the public to continue its mission.

"We are looking for help from the public to support the people here at the shelter," she said.

County residents who would like to help any of these organizations are urged to contact them. Listed below are telephone numbers and addresses of groups involved in making the holidays brighter for many.

The Community Soup Kitchen, Meals on Wheels, The Lighthouse of Wayne County:

All organizations can be reached through United Way of Wayne County at 735-3591. However, the telephone numbers for the soup kitchen, Meals on Wheels and The Lighthouse are 731-3939, 734-1178 (ext. 215) and 736-1313, respectively.

City Rescue Mission:

The mission has a men's shelter and thrift store available in Goldsboro. For more information on the shelter, contact Mike Rooney at 731-4411 or contact the thrift store at 734-5800.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul:

Anyone interested in helping supply food should call Don Nobers at 734-5033, ext. 42.

Holy Ghost Drawing Community Crisis Center:

Open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donations are tax deductible and could be sent to:

P.O. Box 171

Goldsboro, NC 27533