By Adam Droscha
The morning of Saturday, Nov. 19, First Lutheran Church of Charlotte will host its annual turkey giveaway event. The purpose of this giveaway is to provide Charlotte area families that are low on resources and means an opportunity to enjoy a full Thanksgiving meal. The event starts at 9 a.m. and continues through the morning. It’s a breakfast function as well, so families wishing to receive a turkey may also stay for egg dishes, fruit, coffee, and juice.
There are many more reasons to come to the turkey giveaway. Not only will attendees receive a turkey, with an alternative ham option, but they’ll get potatoes and stuffing as well. Besides food, there will also be free children’s jackets, mittens, gloves, shoes, scarves, and other winter-wear available for families struggling to keep youngsters bundled up this year.
The breakfast meal that morning will also include music from the contemporary worship band from First Lutheran, as well as opportunities to interact with other members of the church staff. Pastor Timothy Olson and youth pastor Daniel Longden will be present and available to speak about personal concerns, needs, questions of faith, and general counseling. Elders of the church will also be present to talk about membership opportunities and counseling needs as well.
Bob Schlueter, one of the elders at First Lutheran Church, sees the turkey giveaway as a great way for the First Lutheran congregation to provide for the community. Schlueter, and others, recognize that the holidays can sometimes heighten the stresses of finances, illnesses, and loneliness. A time when everyone is supposed to be relaxing and being thankful can quickly become a reminder that times are tough and money is tight. To Schlueter the turkey giveaway is just one way that First Lutheran Church is reaching out to love, care, and provide.
There are no strict rules or regulations to take part in the turkey giveaway, according to Schlueter, though it is requested and recommended that recipients come to the door in order to receive the meals. Recipients of the meals don’t have to be members of First Lutheran Church, or any other church, and there’s no requirement to return to First Lutheran. An invitation to attend and worship at First Lutheran is extended to any who are interested, but those who come for the turkey giveaway need not worry about being bombarded with inquiries of faith background or beliefs. The turkey giveaway is more of a community event than it is a First Lutheran event.
Anyone wanting to learn more about the turkey giveaway or First Lutheran Church of Charlotte can call (517) 543-4360, or go online to FirstLutheranCharlotte.org.