Fourteen years ago, members of the Old Savannah City Mission organized the first Day of Great Thanksgiving in famed Forsyth Park. The 13th annual event to feed the needy of Savannah is set for next Saturday, but this year, the mission has joined forces with the faith community and others in Bulloch County and will hold the first Day of Great Thanksgiving in Statesboro.
A traditional Thanksgiving meal will be served Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. under a huge white tent in an open field on Highway 80 East between the Church of God and Eastern Heights Baptist Church.
Delia Mobley, who has sought donations and helped recruit volunteers for the Statesboro event, said she expects more than 2,500 meals will be served under the tent and delivered to shut-ins.
“It’s been a pleasure to watch people step forward in our community to help our neighbors enjoy a great meal,” Mobley said.
In addition to the Thanksgiving feast, there will be other activities including praise and worship music, playground activities for children and a washing of the feet of the poor and homeless. The event will conclude with a free raffle of toys, bikes, small appliances and gift certificates.
Mobley said physicians and other health professionals with the Hearts and Hands Clinic will be on hand to offer exams and other clinical services.
The Rev. Jim Lewis with the Old City Mission in Savannah said the Statesboro event was organized “in a genuine spirit of unity in the community.”
Lewis came to Statesboro several times to help with local organizing efforts.
Mobley said about 300 area volunteers have agreed to help with the event Saturday.
“We have the right number of volunteers, plenty of food and clothes to give away,” Mobley said.
She said the group could use some more large sponsors to assist with financial needs.
Also, Mobley said volunteers are available to offer information how anyone can adopt a family to help feed for a year.
“It’s remarkable how a little money can go such a long way to helping feed folks,” Mobley said.
She said anyone with donations or who want information about becoming a sponsor can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
“We hope this is the beginning of a generous Thanksgiving tradition here that has been going on in Savannah,” Mobley said. “Saturday truly will be a Day of Great Thanksgiving.”