College Hill UMC youth host annual Thanksgiving food giveaway


By Brian Sutton, special contributor

College Hill UMC youth packed 335 bags of food for a giveaway that included feeding breakfast to 320 people at the Wichita church. (photos by Brian Sutton)
On Nov. 22, 26 youth gathered at College Hill United Methodist Church for the sixth annual turkey giveaway. During the evening after some fun and games, the youth put together 335 bags of food for the giveaway in the morning.

At 7 a.m. as the youth and volunteers began preparing breakfast and setting up tables, a line of people snaked around the back and side of the church waiting for the doors to open for the giveaway. Many people from the neighborhood and all over Wichita came to get some food and the blessing of community that morning.

As the doors opened at 9 a.m., everything seemed like a well-oiled machine. For the next two hours, the church gave away 273 bags of food and turkeys and fed 320 people breakfast.

As a part of the fundraising for this event, Rev. Kent Little, senior pastor, gave the challenge if the youth raised the $5,000 needed for the event, he would wear a turkey suit. The youth ended up raising $5,550, and Little kept his word.

The youth of College Hill have been doing this event for six years and have raised a little more than $28,000 to provide a Thanksgiving for those in the neighborhood and community who cannot afford it for themselves.

What the church does isn’t just about feeding stomachs; it’s about community and feeding souls as well. We want people to come through the doors and feel like family, so when they have breakfast, they are seated at tables and served by the youth and volunteers. Volunteers also greet, welcome and carry out food for everyone who comes through the doors.

Brian Sutton is the director of Youth Ministry and Community Life at College Hill UMC in Wichita.

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