SYLVANIA - More than 300 people were fed a Thanksgiving feast last week through a community collaboration led by the Hawk Enrichment Center in Sylvania.
Hawk Enrichment is a community youth outreach center focusing on at-risk youth, originally operated from the home of its CEO Chris Thomas.
The center has experienced success in its new location on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive for the past two years.
Thomas said Hawk Enrichment provides a positive outlet in a small rural town, "where our youth really don't have a lot of avenues available."
It was birthed out of a desire to give youth something positive to get involved in after school, he said. Hawk provides after school activities every day, including mentoring, tutoring and community sports.
Last week was the second year Hawk initiated the community Thanksgiving dinner, only this year it became a community-wide partnering effort, Thomas said.
Instead of doubling up on providing for the hungry, Thomas said numerous community organizations combined forces to feed more than 300 on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
As one of the partners, City of Victory Church on Ogeechee Street provided the facility where people of all ages and color gathered for the feast.
There were no boundaries for who was fed, Thomas said. Meals were even delivered to the homes of older individuals who weren't able get out.
The goal of reaching an entire community and bringing people together, Thomas believe was accomplished.
He expressed his gratitude to all those who participated in making the event possible. Mayor Margaret Evans and the City Council of Sylvania were tremendous assets, he said. Partners for the event included Thomas' team at Hawk Enrichment, City of Victory, Jesus on Wheels, Greater Refuge Cathedral, Horse Creek United Methodist, and many others. Additional supporters from all over the community also provided support in one way or another, Thomas said, to pull off the event with success.
For the upcoming Christmas season, Hawk Enrichment Center will collect canned goods to feed the hungry, Thomas said, as well as clothing to be given away to the needy on Dec. 11.
In addition to the special holiday events, Thomas said the center provides weekly workshops such as a motherhood outreach program on Tuesday nights, and a fatherhood program on Thursday nights, just to name a few.
"If I see the need and can help," Thomas said, "we try to meet that need."
For more information about the Hawk Enrichment Center, call (912)564-5988.