11/28/10 — Mount Olive youth prepare, serve Thanksgiving dinner to the community

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Mount Olive youth prepare, serve Thanksgiving dinner to the community

By Steve Herring
Published in News on November 28, 2010 1:50 AM

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From left, Mount Olive First Baptist youth group members Mollie Catherine McDonald, Brian Parnell, Kathryn Winn, Morgan Best, Ali Eakes, Natalie Brown, Taylor Dilday and Cole Atwood help serve a Thanksgiving dinner.

MOUNT OLIVE -- Youth at Mount Olive First Baptist Church didn't spent their Saturday after Thanksgiving shopping at the mall or at the movies -- they spent it helping prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal for needy people in the community.

Under the supervision of adult leaders, the youths prepared the food and served more than 180 plates at the church's Christian Life Center.

Prior to the 1 p.m. start, the youths and adults gathered for a devotional and to talk about why they were doing the project.

"Everybody was grateful and we heard a lot of 'thank you' and 'God bless you,'" said Felicia Fox, minister of children and youth at the church. "We started at 10 a.m. with everything except for the turkeys. We cooked 12 20-pound turkeys on pig cookers last night (Friday) so we have a lot of turkey.

"The youth did pretty much everything. The youth and the parents did all of the cooking, all the preparations all of the setting up tables and they will do all of the clean-up. So they have really done everything. It has been good to see them do that."

The group cooked enough food for 200 people, many of whom called ahead to let the youths know they would attend.

"I have not heard any of them (youths) complain about working," Ms. Fox said. "They have complained about being a little bored and wanting more to do and wanting it to hurry up and be time to serve the food. I am very proud of them. They are taking it to heart."

Ms. Fox said the project was a good lesson learned during a week-long summer mission trip to Asheville that included working in a soup kitchen.

The youths were so motivated by the soup kitchen that they wanted to do something similar in their own community, she said.

Also, Ms. Fox said the youths have already talked about next summer's mission trip to Georgia and how Saturday's project will help them. That trip will include volunteering in a homeless shelter and with refugees.