11/21/2012 10:55:00 AM Local givers are abundant during holidays
Top photo: Pastor Elsie Bailey and the Chino Valley Community Church fill the front of the church with donated food on Sunday.
Bottom Photo: Carrie Barnes has coordinated free Thanksgiving meals at Chino Valley Word of Life Church for 10 years.
People who live in the communities of Chino Valley and Paulden are truly blessed to have so many giving and caring people who always are ready to reach out to those in need. During the holiday season this becomes more evident than ever. Here are a few of the generous organizations that try to make the holidays happy for those in need.
The Chino Valley Community Church and Pastor Elsie Bailey will host their 4th Annual Thanksgiving Box give away.
"The boxes contain everything for a Thanksgiving dinner, a turkey, dressing, cranberries, and all the trimmings," said Elsie.
The Sunday before Thanksgiving, the church members place a huge cornucopia at the alter of the church.
"Everyone in the congregation brings in fresh fruits and vegetables for the cornucopia which overflows with their generous offerings. "These we put in the boxes at the last minute so they stay fresh.
We are all extremely blessed in many ways. We recognized that there are people who have very little," Elsie said.
"If only on this one day we can make a difference in their lives, that's what we want to do."
The Word of Life Church in Chino Valley also does a wonderful free "Thanksgiving at our House" dinner for anyone in the community who wishes to attend. The church has been preparing this dinner for the past 10 years and Carrie Barnes has coordinated the meals.
"I work together with the church staff and about 82 church volunteers that help put this big dinner on," said Carrie.
"We usually have from 850 to 1,000 people in the community attend this dinner. So we cook about 40 turkeys, 29 hams, and the rest of the dinner includes garlic mashed potatoes, dressing, yams, green beans, and all the fixings," she added.
Dolisa Pehl and the Chino Valley High School culinary students will be providing at least 75 pies in addition to pies the ladies in the church make.
"This year the dinner will be on Nov. 20 at the church 590 W. Road 1 North, from 4 to 7:30 p.m.," said Carrie.
Carrie and all those volunteers at Word of Life work hard to put this dinner on for the less fortunate people in the area.
"Providing this dinner each Thanksgiving season gives all of us great joy," Carrie said.
We like being able to provide a meal to the homebound, those who are alone, and those who would otherwise go without."
Members of the Antelope Garden Club of Chino Valley also do their part to help brighten the holidays for homebound seniors and disabled residents by following the Meals on Wheels drivers the Monday before Thanksgiving and delivering beautiful fruit baskets to each of them.
"The Garden Club has been giving these baskets for the past 10 years. About six to 10 members come to my house to prepare the baskets," said Eslie.
"We fill about 66 baskets with apples, oranges, pears, tangerines, and health food bars. We are able to purchase the fruit and baskets with the money we make from our plant sale we have each spring," Eslie explained.
Eslie shared how much she and the other garden club members enjoy making up these baskets.
"I'm a Christian woman, and I believe the Lord wants us to servc him, said Eslie.
"This is the Garden Club's way to spread the love around."