Reaching out to the community
Every Thanksgiving morning for the past decade, Word of Deliverance Ministries has hosted the annual Thanksgiving Community Outreach event at Cool Springs Recreational Gym in Forest City.
On Thursday morning, doors to the event opened an hour earlier than planned to begin serving guests plates full of turkey and trimmings.
"Every Thanksgiving we've held this event we have successfully served hundreds of families," said Apostle-Elect and pastor Tommy Twitty. "Our aim is R.O.T.W. — to reach outside the walls by giving back to the surrounding communities and providing as many families as possible with a Thanksgiving meal."
During the community meal, guests enjoyed live music performed by ministry members and fellowship led by Twitty.
Afterwards, guests also received boxes of household staples, canned and dried goods, baby items and blankets.
"In addition to the meal and items we supply, we offer counseling to help restore people socially, economically and spiritually," Twitty said. "We couldn't do this without all of our volunteers who give up their first half of Thanksgiving Day to come help others."
For ministry member Sonya Brown, the Thanksgiving outreach event is not only an opportunity to give back to the community in a time of need, but also a chance to help impact and change people's lives.
"This is an awesome event and I feel everything about it is going great," Brown said. "With the recession, tough economy and holiday season arriving, it's a very stressful time of year, and so we are serving and helping many more families than we have in previous years. We're here to give back, show love and let people know we are here to bring the community together."
For Twitty, it all comes back to helping others.
"My favorite part of this is becoming a servant by helping people who are going through tough times," Twitty said. "It's about seeing people's lives reconciled, watching the smiles come across their faces and helping change their day, season and life."