Thanksgiving feast for all

Rashad Milligan/Douglas County Sentinel Mary Breeding, a military veteran who works with Meals on Wheels, and Harold Washington, a minister at Lighthouse Full Gospel Church, met at the Winston church Friday in preparation for its 10th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

While many folks will be headed to the grocery store over the next few days to pick up a turkey and fixings for a Thanksgiving feast, at least two groups will be serving up meals to seniors and others who wouldn't otherwise have a meal Thursday.

The Lighthouse Full Gospel Church at 2758 Mann Rd. in Winston is hosting its 10th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner from 11 a.m. until “when we’re out of food,” event coordinator Susan Shipp said.

Ray and Mary Breeding, a husband and wife team who are both military veterans and members of the American Legion, work with Meals on Wheels year round. Since Meals on Wheels doesn't operate on Thanksgiving, the Breedings will pick up 33 meals from Lighthouse and deliver them on their regular Meals on Wheels route, Shipp said.

“It’s one of the pillars of the American Legion Auxiliary, to be about serving our community, and this particular year, that’s our theme,” Mary Breeding said. “Be about serving the community in unity for our military, our veterans, and those families.”

Ray Breeding said he always adds an extra item to the homes he delivers to on a weekly basis, whether it be toilet paper or a slice of cheesecake.

Mary Breeding and Harold Washington, a minister at Lighthouse, were at the church Friday preparing for the big event on Thanksgiving.

Shipp said that she was very appreciative of the event’s sponsors including Publix, Kroger, the Villa Rica Food Depot, and the Ingles in Douglasville. Every time a sponsor dropped, Shipp said God provided them with another one.

Lighthouse has offered a service to deliver meals to seniors and others who are homebound in Douglas County in years past. But Shipp said this year there aren't enough volunteers to offer the delivery service. However, she said people and organizations are welcome to come to Lighthouse on Thursday and pick up as many to-go meals as they need. Shipp said they'll meet any request they can for to-go meals as long as there is still food left.

The Lighthouse Community Thanksgiving Dinner was started in 2008 by former pastor Wally Holland, who died in 2009.

“This was one of the projects he wanted to start because he had a burden for people — not necessarily that they needed financial help with the meals but some of them just needed it because they didn’t have anybody to spend Thanksgiving with,” Shipp said last Thanksgiving.

Shipp’s number is 770-942-8096 and she can be emailed at

Just south of downtown Douglasville, FIT for the Future is hosting its Free Community Brunch at the Wendy’s on Fairburn Road. Brandon Pennamon, the founder of FIT For The Future Community Development Group, Inc, said a full Thanksgiving meal will be provided. Attendees will also be treated to haircuts, prayer with local pastors, clothes, and toiletries.

Pennamon said collaboration from groups like Douglasville Community Outreach, Creekside Dental, Unity in the Community ATL, Rare Pearls, state Rep. William Boddie, Douglasville City Councilwoman LaShun Burr Danley, County Commissioner Henry Mitchell, Ruth Morgan at Golden Memorial UMC, along with U Got Next barbershop and several local pastors help make the Thanksgiving feast possible.

Pennamon said he’s prepared to serve 300 people Thursday, up from around 250 last year, and that everyone is welcome.

“Our big objective is to give them a hand-me-up as opposed to a hand-me-out,” he said.

Pennamon can be reached at 678-628-7165 or via email at

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