11/18/12 — City's Community Crisis Center will prepare baskets for needy

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City's Community Crisis Center will prepare baskets for needy

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on November 18, 2012 1:50 AM

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Community Crisis Center cook Lorene Beaman puts food items in a box the center is preparing for a needy family. The boxes will be given out for Thanksgiving.

Although hungry Wayne County residents won't be sitting down to a Thanksgiving feast this year at the Community Crisis Center, they will still get a holiday meal they can prepare at home.

In past years, the Crisis Center has been busy days before Thanksgiving roasting turkeys until they are golden brown, preparing pies and cakes and fixing all the trimmings for a holiday dinner. But this year, volunteers have decided to save a little time and money and do just the food baskets, intake counselor Hazel White said.

The food baskets are not a new thing at the Crisis Center, as the center has been preparing them for more than 20 years.

"We have done the food baskets in past years along with the sit-down meal," Ms. White said. 'We usually do 15 to 20 baskets. It just depends on how the food donations come in."

People in the community will call in and reserve a food basket, which they will pick up a couple days before Thanksgiving.

The basket will be loaded with everything needed to make a good Thanksgiving dinner -- turkey, cranberry sauce, vegetables, canned goods and sweet potatoes.

"The food is all donated by the community -- individuals, civic groups and businesses," Ms. White said. "Most people know what we do here and what we have been doing over the years, and they just start bringing the food in. People donate small and large turkeys, too."

Some individuals ask for a food basket, but most are families, Ms. White said.

"We fix the baskets according to the number of people in the family," she said.

Ms. White has been touched in past years by the recipients' reactions to getting the food baskets.

"Some say they have just moved to this area," she said. "Some are disabled in some way, but they get someone to bring them here to get their basket."

And some are familiar faces from the previous year.

Ms. White said the Community Crisis Center will continue to do the food baskets in the future because they see the need for this outreach ministry.

"It's a time of Thanksgiving, and it's a time to show your love and concern for others," she said. "Even though we do this year-round, Thanksgiving is a special time of the year.

"We feel like people need to know that people do love and care for them, and we try to express that with our food baskets."

And the staff at the Community Crisis Center receives so much in return.

"It's just such a heart's delight," Ms. White said. "It's something that's hard to express. It's like when someone gives you something, the joy of receiving it is so good, but the joy of giving something is much greater, much greater.

"'We are just thankful for all the people who think enough of us here to want to come in with food and see that we continue the tradition of giving. It's a time when you look and see certain people come in every year with food donations. You can count on them to come in and donate for the food baskets."