Guy Ellis

Grove Sun

Grove’s Christian HELP (Hope, Encouragement, Love and Provision) Center provided over 100 Delaware County families with full Thanksgiving dinners for this holiday season last week. The Center gave away the traditional holiday meals on Friday at their headquarters east of the city.

“People are struggling right now,” said HELP Center director Anna Shaw. “The need is here and we’re happy to provide this opportunity for families.”

The Thanksgiving Baskets consisted of a full course traditional holiday dinner: dressing, rolls, fruit and vegetables, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, and everything needed to make a pumpkin pie from scratch. Also included was a nice-sized turkey. In all, the baskets could provide a dinner for at least a family of six.

“Our volunteers started putting the baskets together about a week ago,” Shaw said. “We had to inventory to make sure we had enough food and then we had to start putting it together.”

The turkeys for the baskets were sourced from various donors.

“The Tulsa Food Bank provided a lot of the turkeys,” Shaw said. “We were blessed that INTEGRIS Hospital was able to donate 53 turkeys that they had left over from the gifts they gave their employees.”

Putting everything together was a community project according to Shaw.

“We’ve had a lot of people bring in donations. A lot of the area churches have donated items as well,” Shaw said. “We’ve had a lot of extra volunteers come in to help also.

“We had students from the Grove High School come over and help give the baskets to families. We’ve had a full contingency back there helping,” Shaw added.

With the annual Thanksgiving Basket drive completed the HELP Center will be the beneficiary of a food drive being organized by Monkey Island realtor DeWayne Richardson to help replenish inventories.

“We’ve been seeing a lot more people come into the Center,” Shaw added. “We’ve seen a lot of families who have merged, or moved in together, to help share costs and meet expenses. We feel that the HELP Center is needed now more than ever.”