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Food, coats and blankets to be handed out Saturday at annual Thanksgiving event

The season is upon us, and many people have been working diligently to make sure their neighbors and other people in this community have what they need to put a nice holiday dinner on the table.

For weeks the donations have been coming in, thanks to the giving hearts of citizens and businesses all over the Lawton area, and this Saturday it will come to a head at the back of the old Gibson's building at Southwest 12th Street and Lee Boulevard. Coordinated by Pastor Jerry Dillard, his lovely wife Sigrid, and the good people at Faith-Based Church of God, dozens of volunteers will be ready to distribute grocery bags, hams, turkeys and more to people in need of a hand up.

It's all first-come, first-served, and starts at 9 a.m.. Whether you want to volunteer or have a need, all are welcome.

Coats and blankets from the annual Feed the Need Coat and Blanket Drive will also be offered, but I'm sorry to say the donations are light this year, in part because of me and the fact that I'm so busy I don't know if I'm coming or going. Please, if you're so inclined, drop off a new or gently used coat or blanket to Salas Urban Cantina, 247 E. Gore, or any Fort Sill Federal Credit Union location. They will be distributed both on Saturday and on Dec. 24 at St. John's Missionary Baptist Church's Christmas Eve meal.

Surely some of you are a part of a church or civic group looking for a cause this holiday season. If you're so led, those donations will be put to good use. Incidentally, if you know of someone in immediate need of a coat, contact me at the email address below and I'll do what I can to help.

For the food drive, Faith-Based Church of God is in need of sweet potatoes, and those donations can either be dropped at the church, 1105 SW F, or at Salas Urban Cantina.

And, of course, whether your cause is for food or warmth this holiday season, money is that gift that keeps on giving. Any monetary donations are greatly appreciated.

Every year this project starts out with its share of uncertainty, and the planning for some is a year-round concern. But it's the people with faith who make it happen. This community has never disappointed, and while the need here is great, we should be proud of the caring people who live here and support the causes that are so important.

There is much work to be done for our people living on the street. Shelters are limited and the rules are strict. Some of the folks on the street got there because they have a hard time following the rules. At times caring people are disheartened by the thought that others take advantage of them. While clearly some do take advantage, if you'll look closely at certain areas of town, an alley here or a park bench there, you will see the need. You'll see someone sitting there late in the day, cold and alone, with no hope for the future. I believe the key is to give with a glad heart and be thankful that you can.

A better solution is needed, but we do have some resources to help those in need, especially those who have the fortitude to try to help themselves.

Me ... I worry about the ones who don't. The ones who are really lost.

Meanwhile, we do what we can.

The Lawton Constitution

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