On November 19th at 3 pm, 23 volunteers arrived at Fountain of Living Waters Church at 10120 Johnson Rd in Phelan to put together 300 food boxes, including a whole frozen turkey and all the fixings to prepare a Thanksgiving Day dinner for people at home and in need.
Volunteers from New Life Church of the Nazarene and Fountain of Living Waters joined together in the main church sanctuary, which was rearranged to accommodate the huge endeavor of organizing and assembling 300 Thanksgiving Dinner boxes to give to folks for the holiday the next morning. Happy, smiling volunteers arrived just in time to pray for a smooth, organized collaborative effort from those ready to help.
Fountain of Living Waters Church holds a weekly food pantry on Saturdays located in the parking lot. Church officials had a pretty good idea that demand from those in need during the Thanksgiving holiday would be high. So their goal for the Saturday pantry before Thanksgiving was to prepare 300 turkey dinner boxes which would include everyday commodities as well, as opposed to about 100-150 prepared on a typical distribution day at Fountain of Living Waters Church. In addition to a turkey, each box was assembled to include various items such as green beans, corn, potatoes, yams, cranberries, bread and butter pickles, plus everyday commodities such as butter, apples, snacks, fresh vegetables, even cookie Dough and more.
The following morning, Saturday, November 20th, once again from both churches, volunteers helped load each box into the vehicles of happy, grateful folks that filled the parking lot. Eighty turkeys were donated from the congregation of Fountain of Living Waters Church and others in the community. The church covered the cost of the remaining turkeys needed to meet their goal. Corn and green beans, and other classics were donated from the congregation to help complete the boxes.
Finally, on Sunday after church services, the church volunteers gathered to set up a thanksgiving dinner for the whole community. Pastor Mike Lemo of High Desert Baptist Church and Pastor Mike Villegas from New Life lent tables for this big event to accommodate as many as needed. Bobby Martin, the owner of My Hero Subs, organized staff and patrons to volunteer, donate, peel, and cook an estimated 100 lbs. of mashed potatoes. Mama Marias helped with the use of their kitchen as their restaurant kitchen because they wanted to help feed thanksgiving dinner to residents of the community.
Folks from both congregations brought loads of food to be offered up for a potluck meal, buffet style. Joyful folks from both congregations also served people as they approached the long table holding a variety of favorites such as turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, green bean casserole, dinner rolls, rice, African style turkey, and many other favorites. The wonderful thing was there was so much food people could go back for more! Even take some home as leftovers. There was a magnificent variety of pies and desserts, and people indulged, enjoying every bit. It was indeed a thankful event with over 220 people attending thanksgiving dinner that night.