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  • Josh Anderson

Driven to Serve Thanksgiving Meals

Intern Kemp Kornegay coordinated a one-day food drive that provided 13 local families with more than enough ingredients for each of them to prepare home-cooked Thanksgiving meals. And theHeart was able to put an abundance of love into action in support of the High Country.

Kemp accepts a donation from Leslee Peeler at our office in downtown Boone.

All interns at theHeart are responsible for developing a project or special event that serves our community. These creative demonstrations of God's love are visible ways that our church family can impact people's lives. And they are a hands-on method for providing interns with a real-world experience of what it takes to make ministry happen.

Kemp Kornegay knew almost immediately that he wanted to lead a project that would provide families at Watauga High School with food for Thanksgiving. "I was so impressed with our food drive last year that I wanted to do everything I could to make it happen again this year."

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." – 1 Chronicles 16:34

Kemp worked with Jennifer Wandler, the social worker at Watauga High School, to identify the families and plan for how much food each would receive. He also created a process to sort and pack the items accordingly.

After each gathering on Sunday, November 18, people at theHeart were invited to take tags of paper labeled with different Thanksgiving food items and immediately purchase those items. They then delivered the food to our office downtown.

A team of interns was on hand to sort the items and prepare boxes of food for the families. Car after car rolled down Howard Street with loads of donations that surpassed our goal of serving 10 families.

"Kemp and the other interns did an incredible job setting up and organizing all the items," Jennifer said. "This allowed for incredibly seamless pick-up for the families."

More Than Enough

The outpouring of generosity resulted in us receiving more than double the amount of food that we were aiming to get.

"We collected 23 turkeys when we were only asking for 11, so each family could take two if they wished," Kemp reported. "We even had so much extra food, that every family got an extra bag of food and they could take even more food if they wished."

Once the food was sorted and ready to give away, each family came to our office to pick it up. After each family was served, Jennifer took some extra food and turkeys back to the school and ended up providing two more families with a Thanksgiving meal.

"Thank each of you who took time in giving and praying over this ministry. It truly is a blessing." – Jennifer Wandler, WHS Social Worker

In total, theHeart helped provide 13 local families with food for Thanksgiving. And there was still plenty to share.

"Each family shared how grateful they were to receive the food," Jennifer said. "One mother said, 'food is the heart of my family–this food allows me to love on mine.'"

With still more food in hand, Kemp was able to deliver food to a local food shelf at a time of year when donations are hard to come by.

"We had five extra turkeys and four extra boxes of food after each family was served," Kemp said. "So we donated what remained to Casting Bread Food Pantry."

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