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Follansbee church sets free Thanksgiving dinner

November 13, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

FOLLANSBEE - For the last three years, members of Hooverson Heights Church of Christ have gathered on Thanksgiving Day to share their blessings with others in the community.

And again they will team to prepare a holiday feast for anyone who cares to join them between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the church at 102 Church Ave.

Mary Kimberland, a church member who has spearheaded the event since its beginning, said 25 people turned out last year, but meals also were delivered to 48 shut-ins and others.

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DINNER PLANNED — The Rev. Dan Cooper, pastor of Hooverson Heights Church of Christ, and Mary Kimberland, a member of the church, will team with other members and volunteers to hold a community Thanksgiving Day dinner there from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Those interested in attending are asked to call (304) 527-1081 so organizers can prepare.
-- Warren Scott

The Rev. Dan Cooper said the event, which he affectionately calls Turkey on the Hill, is the church's way of reaching out to the community and it's not intended solely for people in need.

"This isn't just for hardship. It's for friendship, too. And every year we have people turn out just for that," he said.

Kimberland noted many older residents have families who live away and aren't likely to cook a turkey dinner just for themselves but may miss the usual trappings of the holiday.

"We try to make the people who come feel comfortable, almost like they are at home," she said.

Kimberland credited volunteers within the church and family members and friends for making it a success.

"The church is so on their toes with this. I don't have to ask anybody. They just volunteer to cook," she said.

Cooper added the church has received donations of food for the dinner from within and outside. Reservations aren't required but helpful in determining how much food will be needed and can be made by calling (304) 527-1081. Local deliveries also may be arranged by calling that number.

In recent years the church has fed younger members of the community in another way. Inspired by the Food to Ewe program serving Colliers Primary School, church members have been providing backpacks filled with nonperishable food to children in need at nearby Hooverson Heights Primary School.

The children take the backpacks home with them on Friday afternoons and on the last day before holiday breaks to ensure they have food to eat while not at school, Cooper said.

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