Volunteers provide 225 meals on Saturday

By Emily Brown

December 27, 2013

The Friendly Trio cooked up a meal for local residents on Saturday, Dec. 21, a pre-Christmas outreach that brought smiles to the faces of those there and gave a glimmer of holiday hope to those in need. The Friendly Trio’s gospel programmer, Charles Strickland, was on hand to help with the dishing out of plates for the folks that gathered in the community building. The Friendly Community Center, which is located at 421 Hanson Road, is just north of Clinton, a few minutes off U.S. 421.

On Saturday, Dec. 21, the Friendly Trio, in conjunction with the church association, served up a pre-Christmas dinner from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The plates were both eat-in and take-out, and beverages and desserts were also available. A steady stream of folks came in to pick up plates throughout the lunch and the group on staff was eager to serve everyone.

“We are also planning on having a New Year’s program,” said Strickland to those lined up inside. “The theme for the event on Sunday, Dec. 29 is ‘Praying out the Old, Praying in the New,’ and it will start up at 6 p.m.”

The Friendly Trio also has praise dancers and a miming ministry that they use to give back to the community.

Their motto is ‘Bringing unity to the community’ and Strickland said that they do that by giving back, especially to those that are in need.

This is the eighth year that the Friendly Trio has been doing these activities. They also have a food bank and provide hot meals to help those in need.

“We do whatever we have to do to keep it rolling,” said Strickland. “We do whatever we can to make it happen.” He said they make sure that everyone they can bless with their outreach is, indeed, blessed by it, and that it is important to assist others and be a joyful giver.

“We have made it this far by the grace of God,” said Strickland of the outreach programs.

They have been doing the Christmas feed for needy families in the area for a while. They also try to give out 10 to 12 boxes of food to families who won’t have a Christmas meal. He said the boxes usually include vegetables, like collards, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and sometimes green beans, as well as ham or turkey.

“These people need a sufficient meal at Christmas,” said Strickland.

“The Friendly Trio helps out however we can,” reiterated Strickland. “Sometimes we do missions and musical programs at different churches, whatever is needed, we try to help meet the need.

The Christmas feed was staffed by nine volunteers and two delivery guys who carried meals to shut-ins. Strickland said that they served over 225 meals on Saturdayduring their three hours of cooking and serving.

“It is better to give than receive,” Strickland stressed of the reason he believes the outreach is so imporant. “He, the good Lord, he makes it happen.” Strickland also said that every third Saturday they do food bags.

“If we have someone in dire need of food we try to supply them wiht some form of food,” said Strickland. He said that if anyone would like more information they can reach him on his cell phone at 910-590-4925.

Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122 or via email at