Susan Shipp knows there are a lot of people in Douglas County struggling financially this year due to the pandemic.
Shipp coordinates the Lighthouse Full Gospel Community Thanksgiving Dinner, which is in its 13th year and typically provides 125-150 meals on Thanksgiving Day.
Shipp said the church, located at 2758 Mann Rd. in Winston, expects to serve 200 meals or more next Thursday with extra precautions in place for those eating in, grabbing plates to-go and the elderly and other homebound people the church delivers meals to on Thanksgiving.
“There’s so many that were affected when everything was shut down,” she said.
Lighthouse isn’t the only group that is helping folks in Douglas County for Thanksgiving.
Two organizations will be giving away free turkeys this Saturday, Nov. 21. Another turkey giveaway will take place Tuesday, Nov. 24 at Douglas County High School.
District 3 County Commissioner Tarenia Carthan is partnering with nonprofits Splendors of Africa and Family Ties for a drive-through turkey giveaway Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Douglas County Courthouse parking lot.
Cobb & Douglas Public Health will also be at the courthouse during Saturday’s turkey giveaway with free COVID-19 testing, and Family Ties will be giving away free personal protective equipment (PPE). The testing and free PPE, like the turkeys, will be done via drive-thru.
In south Douglas, Basket Creek Missionary Baptist Church will host its annual Turkey Dinner Giveaway on Saturday at 10 a.m. The giveaway includes unprepared boxed turkey dinners with all the fixings. Basket Creek Missionary Baptist is located at 7289 Capps Ferry Road in Douglasville.
On Tuesday, Douglas County High will host a Drive Through Turkey Giveaway from noon to 5 p.m. The event is being hosted by Dr. Kevin Khao Cates, Board of Education Chair Tracy Rookard, County Commission Chairman Romona Jackson Jones, Solicitor General Sonya Compton and BOE member Devetrion Caldwell.
At Lighthouse Full Gospel on the west side of the county, Shipp said volunteers will be preparing a full meal including turkey, dressing, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, a dessert and drink. Meals are served beginning at 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving until all of the food is gone later in the afternoon.
She said the church will limit those coming inside to eat and pick up to-go meals to about 20 people to adhere to social distancing guidelines from public health officials.
She said everyone who comes in the church will be asked to wear a mask while inside except while they’re eating. The church will disinfect before and during the event to make it as safe as possible for those coming in to eat and to pick up meals to go, Shipp said.
Shipp asks that elderly and homebound people who live within a 10-mile radius of the church who would like their meals delivered by a volunteer to call her by Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 770-942-8096.
Shipp said volunteer delivery drivers will wear masks and are glad to leave meals by the front doors of folks who would prefer contactless delivery.
As in years past, Shipp said Lighthouse Full Gospel is glad to provide meals for first responders, “whether it’s one or the whole station.”
First responders and anyone else who would like to call ahead and pick up their meals to-go can call Shipp on Thanksgiving Day on her cell phone at 770-862-4697 to let her know how many meals are needed and when they will be picked up. Church volunteers will even bring to-go meals out to those who prefer not to enter the building.
Kroger, Publix, Food Depot of Douglasville and Villa Rica, Farmer’s Table, Shane’s Rib Shack, Texas Roadhouse, Williamson Brothers Bar-B-Q and Fullerville Mission all contributed this year to help make the Lighthouse meal possible, Shipp said.