By Essence Frazier
“Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good,” lyrics from a Hezekiah Walker gospel song, played in the background of the multipurpose center at the Majority Baptist Church in St. Albans, Queens. A couple of parishioners, Deaconess Ada Kamara and Clarissa Jones, were preparing Thanksgiving baskets to feed the hungry.
Thanksgiving has developed over time into a holiday at which families come together to celebrate over a feast. Yet so many people lack the economic means to carry out this tradition that the church, which is known for its philanthropy, makes a point of helping those in need enjoy their holiday.
A free will offering was established in the church in order to collect food for the baskets. The items collected were cornbread, cranberry sauce, canned string beans, sweet potatoes and cabbage. By collecting canned goods, the church doesn’t have to worry about the food spoiling before the baskets are distributed.
“Everyone in this church has been blessed bountifully, so it’s time that we be a blessing to others and donate goods”, the pastor, the Rev. Darryl Frazier called out to his parishioners, asking for donations.
At first, the collection bins in the foyer of the church were bare, but after numerous requests to parishioners, they began to fill. Eventually, the bins began to overflow, and the church met its goal of 40 baskets. Recipients were recommended by parishioners, who would provide a family’s information, and then church deacons would deliver the basket to the family on the eve of Thanksgiving.
“Every little bit helps, nobody should want for food, especially on Thanksgiving,” says Cynthia Howard, a member of the church. For those who missed out on an opportunity to be generous at Thanksgiving, don’t worry: Christmas is right around the corner.