By Portia Williams
SOUTH SHORE, KY. — By the grace of God, and generosity of sponsors, Sandhill International Pentecostal Church of Christ (SIPCC), in South Shore, Ky. was able to pull off their annual Thanksgiving boxes to help feed local families. They are still praying for a miracle for their Christmas give-away event scheduled for Dec. 23.
Gary Newman, Pastor of SIPCC, said they gave out full Thanksgiving meals to local families in need on Tuesday.
“Every year we try to give out a full Thanksgiving dinner to families, turkeys, pies, dinner rolls, the whole nine yards,” Newman said. “We have been doing this for five years now, and also we have food pantry where we give out once a month. Every year around Thanksgiving and Christmas time we are about to give out about 100 or 120 families.”
SIPCC is grateful for their sponsorship, and sign the families up in advance.
“This year it has been just a little more expensive. We have one sponsor that gives us 40 turkeys for Thanksgiving, and then for Christmas, and then we try to build upon that,” he said. “We try to get a sign up for the Thanksgiving boxes ahead of time, and then tonight we had 120 come out that were signed up.
He said the Huntington Food Bank in Huntington, W. Va. and the Giovanni’s Corporation in Ashland, Ky. are their two biggest sponsors, and that without them, they would not be able to help the families that they serve.
“When we get all of this done here tonight we will be setting our sights on the Christmas event. Of course we have the 40, they are there, but the next step is trying to get the rest,” he said. “We had 120 signed up, for this one, and we will get them back. We will probably have to limit it to 150, because it is really getting hard to find the turkeys, especially for 99 cents a pound,” he said.
Another challenge that SIPCC faced is complications with their fundraiser that usually takes care of the holiday box efforts.
“Each year we have host a car show, which is the fundraiser that usually finances the box give- away, but this year the rain got us,” he said. “We attempted to reschedule the car show, but we just did not get the kind of turn out that we usually get, and that really hurt our efforts. We have some things in the making for next year, but right now, it is really hard.”
He said his congregation is small, a membership of 30, but contribute what they can.
“We are willing to accept any and all types of donations, whether it is a monetary donation which can be mailed to our post office box, or if it is canned goods, we will be more than willing to pick them up,” he said.
He said providing the Thanksgiving and Christmas boxes to families in need is very important to their church.
“If we were not able to do this, it would probably break our hearts,” he said. “We feel like by doing this we are fulfilling Matthew 25, where Jesus said, “When you have done it as unto one of these, you have done it also unto me.
Monetary donations may be mailed to P.O. Box 1114, South Shore, Ky. 41175, or call Pastor Gary Newman at 740-821-0766.
In addition to the holiday boxes SIPCC also hosts a food pantry on the third Tuesday of every month, from 5 p.m. until where they give out food to those in need.
“And for the pantry, we just go until the food is gone,” he said. “We love for people to come, and we love to be able to help them,” he said.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.