Volunteers and staff of Open Door and His Laboring Few ministries worked cheerfully Thanksgiving Day to prepare and deliver meals for homeless people in the surrounding community.

Costs of food and supplies have increased and the number of volunteer drivers decreased because of the ongoing pandemic, said Preacher Steve Ervin, who has led His Laboring Few for 29 years. Many people who usually donate did not this year, he said. Some of the big grocery stores that traditionally provided turkeys at wholesale price were told by corporate they couldn’t do that this year.

Although several factors combined to make the effort harder than normal, His Laboring Few volunteers began working around 5 a.m. Thursday to prepare more than 100 turkeys and sides to fill well over 1,000 plates to feed various community groups in need.

“Things might be different this year or cost more, but the Lord knows that and he’s provided and so we just trust him,” Ervin said. “The Lord provides it, and it’s usually enough.”

Amanda Sebastian oversaw a line of volunteers who were filling plates at His Laboring Few Ministries’ base at 812 Martin Luther King Drive in Thomasville.

“It’s hard work but it’s rewarding,” Sebastian said. “Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep,’ and that’s what we do.”

Linda Quick, kitchen manager at Open Door, also quoted Scripture that says the poor and unfortunate are always going to be among us.

“We’ve always got a job to do,” Quick said. “We work as a team with one purpose in mind. God is good. I keep coming back because I love God’s people.”

Jill Parrish, who delivers meals for Open Door, said many of the homeless men who stay there don’t have family in this area.

“A lot of them consider this food a big blessing,” Parrish said. “They said if it weren’t for Open Door, they wouldn’t be eating.”

Open Door and His Laboring Few provide hot meals every day throughout the year, Ervin noted.

“We’ve trusted for those meals too, not just Thanksgiving,” Ervin said. “Here and in High Point, we feed people all the time. It’s not something that any one person or any one group can take credit for. All the volunteers come. We don’t know who’s Baptist or Methodist or whatever. People all work together and it all comes together. The whole place operates on faith anyway.”

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