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Christian Services invites community to annual Thanksgiving meal

Nov. 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 6:03 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Christian Services in Hattiesburg will have their annual Thanksgiving meal on Tuesday, Nov. 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their building in downtown Hattiesburg.

Executive Director Maggie West says she’s excited to welcome the community to the drive-through and walk-up event with some outdoor worship and fellowship.

“The weather looks like it’s going to be great and so we’re gonna try to have some outdoor fellowship we’re gonna have to praise and worship music and just some time to hang out and be thankful you know as a community and not just as a zip on through so feel free to hang out with us and spread the word of God and love on each other,” West says.

Volunteers and diners have both looked forward to the meal every year. West says it’s become a real staple in the community and Christian Services is blessed to have so much community support.

“Volunteers actually start calling us in October, sometimes even September. They’re like you ‘do have us down? We actually want to come on prep day and Thanksgiving Day!’ or ‘Don’t forget our group, we always do the desserts!’ So so many people look forward to this day to just give back and be part of the community. We have had volunteers that have come for over 20 years in a row or more to be here on Thanksgiving Day to just make sure they’re a part of blessing the community,” says West.

Penny Kochtitzky is one of those volunteers, who has been at the Christian Services soup kitchen for more than 20 years. Now, she’s known to other volunteers as “The Brownie Lady” for her great desserts. The first meal she served was the thanksgiving lunch.

“I thought that would be a nice way to spend the holidays and do something good for the community. And I got hooked. I loved it. I love the people. And I love the thoughts that we were helping the community was very inspiring,” Kochitizky says.

People like Michael Ducksworth are regulars at the soup kitchen for years and he says he is excited about the Thanksgiving meal.

“I thank God for the family and friends at Christian Services, the food that they serve us - it is delicious. It’s just a good atmosphere – people loving people and I just welcome people to come,” says Ducksworth.

Smith thanked all the businesses and organizations who donated time and food to make the event happen.

“Not everyone has friends and family to go home and celebrate Thanksgiving with, but we want to be their friends and family. So we want to open those doors, our hearts, and just invite everybody in to just call them and remember that there’s so much to be thankful for and that God just blesses us every day,” says West.

Christian Services expects to give out 2,500 plates. The meal will be given out walk-up and drive through some outdoor tables for worship and fellowship.

“It’s just a wonderful experience knowing you’re helping people and they’re helping you,” says Kochtitzky.

Christian Services is located at 301 E 2nd St, Hattiesburg, MS 39401. You can reach out to them with questions or to ask about donating and volunteering at (601) 582-5683.

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