Providing A Thanksgiving For Many

Providing A Thanksgiving For Many
Stephen Decatur High School student Abigail Blankenship is pictured Tuesday during a Thanksgiving meal distribution to the needy. Photo by Bethany Hooper

WHALEYVILLE – Cars lined the shoulder of Old Ocean City Road this week as volunteers from Blessing House Ministries distributed Thanksgiving meals to those in need.

On Tuesday, Blessing House Ministries volunteers donated 150 boxes of food to area families. While the boxes of food were provided through the help of Mountaire’s Thanksgiving for Thousands initiative, the turkeys that were given out were provided by Stephen Decatur High School student Abigail Blankenship.

“It’s nice to help out,” said Blankenship, 17. “I just feel like it’s the holiday season and everybody’s stressing out enough. If they can get food and not have to worry about it, that’s what they really need.”

Blankenship, a senior at Decatur, said her father has been a volunteer at Blessing House Ministries for decades. She decided to get involved with the group this year and has been helping out with its food pantry operation in Whaleyville.

“We’re a small community,” she said. “Every helping hand is essential. Anybody can get involved and help put a smile on somebody’s face.”

Blessing House Ministries, which was incorporated nearly 40 years ago, was started by Don and Dorothy Williard. What began as the couple feeding the hungry in their home gradually grew into a nonprofit. The organization now feeds 8,000 people a year. Those in need can get food at the Old Ocean City Road facility Tuesday through Friday year-round.

“As the economy improves our numbers come down but not drastically,” said Frank Anderson, one of the nonprofit’s directors.

While anywhere from 20 to 50 families will visit the ministry on a regular weekday, the nonprofit was expecting 150 for Tuesday’s Thanksgiving distribution and another 75 for a Thanksgiving distribution set for Wednesday.

“These are our two biggest days of the year,” Anderson said.

He said Blessing House Ministries was grateful to partners like Mountaire and community donors like Blankenship.

“These days are special for us,” he said as volunteers loaded turkeys and boxes of food into vehicles amid calls of “Happy Thanksgiving” and “God bless” from recipients.

Anderson said Blessing House Ministries is always in need of donations, whether they’re of food, time or money.

“We welcome any kind of donation,” he said. “We can always use more volunteers.”

For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.