Members of the Grace Foursquare Church and the North Country Vineyard Church prepared turkey dinners Thursday for delivery to the civil servants who had to work on Thanksgiving and to those who are unable to get out of their homes to shop for all the fixings.
11/24/2012 7:30:00 AM Local churches team up to deliver Thanksgiving meals
While most people were home preparing their own Thanksgiving feasts Thursday morning, two local churches were preparing and delivering meals to the civil servants who had to work on Thanksgiving and to those who can't get out of their homes to shop for all the fixings.
The North Country Vineyard Church started the tradition six years ago and Grace Foursquare Church joined the effort in 2008.
"We're working together with the Vineyard Church - this is the sixth year that we're doing this," said David Ditzler, pointman of the operation. "The whole thing was started by the Vineyard Church and we partnered up with them four years ago, and we're cooking up turkeys and potatoes and stuffing and all of that stuff and we're making up individual meals to deliver to the people that have to work on Thanksgiving and to those who are shut-ins or maybe can't afford a Thanksgiving meal on their own."
The two churches had a lot of stops to make this year, delivering over 300 meals to the Oneida County Sheriff's Department, the Rhinelander Police Department, the Rhinelander Fire Department, local gas station attendants, and the area's needy and shut-in citizens.
"When Vineyard started it six years ago, it was a smaller operation," Ditzler said. "We saw what they were doing and thought it was a fantastic idea so we inquired about teaming up with them. Now, we're able to reach so many more people because we have so much more food coming in and we have so many more wonderful volunteers to help out."
All of the food comes from local parishioners, aside from most of the turkeys which come from the churches themselves.
"Everybody's so great about donating a bag of potatoes or a big pot of gravy or a bunch of rolls," Ditzler said. "People really come together to help out those that need it or to say thank you to the police and fire workers that help keep us safe on the holiday."
The group's list of deliveries has grown continuously over the past few years and Ditzler said the churches hope it continues to grow.
"It's such a great event, such a great time with everybody getting together to help out," Ditzler said. "We're hoping it continues to grow so that we can reach more and more people and help them have as wonderful a Thanksgiving as we all have."
Marcus Nesemann may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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