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Ways you can help others this Thanksgiving
At least 4 meals offered for those in need
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Holiday giving

Other meals and donation/volunteer opportunities around Hall County include the following:

Project J.O.Y.

When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thanksgiving Day
Where: Gainesville F&AM, 621 Lakeshore Drive, Gainesville
How to help: Volunteers can show up at 10 a.m. the day before Thanksgiving to help.

L.A.M.P. Ministries

When: 11 a.m. Nov. 21
Where: 839 Jesse Jewell Parkway, Gainesville
How to help: visit www.lampga.org to make donations

Good News at Noon

When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thanksgiving Day
Where: 979 Davis St., Gainesville
www.goodnewsatnoon.org

There are many around Hall County who feel giving thanks means more than stuffing yourself on turkey and dressing.

If you ask leaders with any of the local churches or organizations who provide community Thanksgiving meals, they’ll tell you it’s about service.

“The holidays are a time when people are counting their blessings, and some are looking for ways to express that gratitude by service to others,” said Kay Blackstock, executive director of the Georgia Mountain Food Bank.

Blackstock was instrumental in the inaugural Thanksgiving Day Community Meal, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 26 at the First Baptist Church Banquet Hall, 751 Green St., Gainesville. It’s the newest of several area gatherings that aim to feed those in need of food or fellowship during the holidays.

Assistant District Attorney Kelley Robertson also was a big part of putting together the inaugural event.

“I’ve worked at the food bank, and I’ve seen many other things every day at my job, and I got to thinking,” Robertson said. “The idea started keeping me up at night. I knew our community really needed a huge community meal at Thanksgiving. ... It was on my heart, and I couldn’t get it out of my head.”

The result was the planning of First Baptist Church’s inaugural event. Robertson said large numbers of people already have volunteered for the event, but there are other ways to help, such as making financial donations to the North Georgia Community Foundation at www.ngcf.org.

Donations can also be made to the Georgia Mountain Food Bank by visiting www.gamountainfoodbank.org.