Thanksgiving always inspires a spirit of gratitude, but for many people, reflecting on their own good fortune inspires them to do good for others.
That is why so many choose to volunteer their time or donate money during the holidays, and Greenwood has a plethora of groups working to help those in need and ensure that everyone in need of a hot meal on Thanksgiving gets fed.
Over at the Greenwood Soup Kitchen, volunteers are feeding the public a full turkey dinner starting at 11 a.m. Anyone wanting to volunteer is asked to show up at 9:30 a.m. at the United Center for Community Care, at 929 Phoenix St.
“We’re able to feed all the people we do because of all the volunteers who are willing to give of their own time,” said Norm Fawcett, chairman of the soup kitchen’s board of directors.
Across Main Street, at Holloway Grocery at 326 Marion Ave., Gloria Daniel will be serving hot plates for her sixth year. Anyone in need of a meal can come by to enjoy turkey, ham, collards, green beans, macaroni and cheese, dressing and more. She starts serving at 11 a.m., and will continue until she runs out.
Each year recently, Daniel said she fed about 200 people.
"We really have been blessed," she said. "It really makes me feel good to see folks getting something to eat."
Another local group that providing meals today is The Salvation Army of Greenwood. Maj. Jason Hughes said the organization is serving about 120 families today, cooking up turkeys donated by the Neil “Gobbler” Cost chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. The Salvation Army is also working to feed families from each of Greenwood County School District 50’s primary and elementary schools, Hughes said, and are feeding seniors through the group’s senior program.
All these meals are in addition to The Salvation Army’s regular food baskets, which Hughes said the group has distributed more than 330 of so far.
“Especially during this month, food is one of the heavier services we offer,” Hughes said. “When people sit down and start counting their blessings, they realize how blessed they really are. ... When we stop and give thanks to God for the things we do have, we realize how important it is to give to the people who are doing without.”
Anyone interested in learning more about The Salvation Army’s services, or to find out how to get involved or donate, can call 864-229-3407.
Other organizations, such as Faith Home and Oaks Recovery Center, are hosting Thanksgiving dinners for their residents. James Gowan at Faith Home Resale Store said the group is frying 22 turkeys for residents, staff and their families, followed by lighting up a Christmas tree to usher in the season.
“We want them to feel at home,” he said.
Between churches and charitable organizations, many people throughout Greenwood are looking for ways to channel their feelings of good fortune outward and help others, Hughes said. His challenge to residents, he said, is to take that urge to help and put it into action. If everyone does what they can to help others, he said the world could become a better place, one good deed at a time.