Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How do you feed 60,000 people on Thanksgiving…

…with A LOT of helping hands and loving hearts.

Since 1992 the Big Heart Brigade has been “coming to the rescue” of local residents in South Florida who would otherwise not have a Thanksgiving meal. Joined by an army of volunteers they fed over 50,000 South Florida residents a traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving 2008. The goal for 2009 is to feed over 60,000. They plan to reach this goal together with 3,800 volunteers from Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (all campuses participated).

I cannot begin to tell you what a moving experience it was to participate in this year’s preparations.  Coming together with all the volunteers for this evening was a wonderfully blessed time.  Had I known how much fun I was going to have I would have volunteered for more than one session (a definite for next year, and I will be bringing the family).

The meeting place was a Palm Beach Gardens Firehouse, a station with plenty of room to accommodate the set up that was needed.  I arrived to the aroma of smoked turkey in the air, and hustle and bustle of many volunteers (they were the early shift).

There were lots of jobs for the volunteers to do, and no job was less important than the other.  So my first stop was the coloring room.  Here the goal was to complete 500 placemats per volunteer shift, a doable feat if at least 50 volunteers went through the coloring room and completed 10 mats.  I was told that while the recepients greatly enjoy their meals each year, some of their fondest memories were of their placemats, so I was off to make my 10 as special as possible (hope they like them).

When I was done with my placemats, it was time for me to join the assembly line.  There were boxes being assembled to hold the meals, and the food assembly lines were a buzz of activity.

I quickly joined in the buzz helping wherever I was needed.  By the end of the evening I was exhausted, energized and elated all at the same time.  I was happy to be part of something that was going to bless so many, and I am hopeful for all of those who will recieve the meals being prepared.  I pray that these meals will be a blessing to them.

We all gave our hearts to the Big Heart Brigade!
Big Heart Brigade

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