Thanksgiving giveaway

Milledgeville Mayor Mary Parham-Copelan (left) poses with Susie Marshall, who has organized the giveaway of 1,000 boxes of grocery items to less fortunate families for the past several years prior to Thanksgiving in Milledgeville and Baldwin County.

It it wasn’t for the generosity of others, this Thanksgiving would not be nearly as special as it will be for at least 1,000 families in Milledgeville and Baldwin County.

That’s how many families received either a turkey or a ham and canned food items to go with it in pre-packaged boxes last weekend.

Those in need of the grocery boxes began lining up in cars, SUVs and pickup trucks an hour or so ahead of the scheduled pickup time of 1 p.m. Sunday. And because they did, the drive-thru event held at Parker’s Wedding & Event Venue on Hammock Road NW began a little earlier than anticipated.

It marked the ninth consecutive year that Susie Marshall has organized and spearheaded the giveaway of grocery boxes in the community just prior to Thanksgiving Day.

“It’s a blessing to do this for so many people right here in our community who need this kind of help every year at Thanksgiving,” said Marshall.

She received help this year in putting on the event from her sister, Tracy Harper, a business owner in Milledgeville and Sandersville.

And the two sisters received help from volunteers loading the grocery boxes into vehicles.

Milledgeville Mayor Mary Parham-Copelan was among more than a dozen volunteers who helped pass out collard greens with Marshall during the event, which lasted about three hours.

One of the volunteers said he had been at a nearby gym working out and heard about it so he asked if he could help pass out the grocery boxes.

“This is such a blessing to so many people in our community who needed a helping hand,” Parham-Copelan said. “I feel so blessed to be part of this.”

“It’s a real blessing to be part of something like this in our community,” the volunteer said. “This is going to help a lot of people have a much better Thanksgiving dinner than they probably would have had if it wasn’t for the giveaway boxes.”

Those involved in putting on the event deserve to be “highly-thanked” for what they are doing to help others at this time of the year, said the volunteer. 

One man said he caught a ride to get to the event.

“I had to get a ride up here,” said the man, noting he had not been feeling well of late. “I don’t know what I would have done for Thanksgiving if I had not been able to get one of these boxes of groceries.”

The man asked for a turkey in his box. And he got his wish.

“I’m so happy,” he aid.

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