FLINT, Michigan — On Tuesday, Nov. 21 from 4-6 p.m., the Flint nonprofit Well of Hope
will host its 15th annual 'Blessed to be a Blessing' Thanksgiving dinner, in partnership with Catholic Charities. Over 50 volunteers will come together at Center For Hope (812 Root St) to serve families a complete turkey dinner with all the fixings, including dressing, macaroni and cheese, yams, and a variety of desserts.
In addition to the dinner, DJ C-Nice will be spinning live music, and Round One Mobile Gaming Lab will be available with video games for children and teens.
Chia Morgan, founder and coordinator of the dinner, said that it's a surreal feeling to be able to bring the 'Blessed to be a Blessing' Thanksgiving dinner to the Flint community for the 15th year.
“It is actually a surreal feeling, I just want to serve others and honestly, some days it’s a real shock factor to see and hear the impact this dinner makes on the city,” said Morgan. “Sometimes, people will meet me and say something they’ve heard about 'Blessed to be a Blessing' and I am just like 'wow.' I have been humbled to tears multiple times because God really trusts me with this task.”
Chia Morgan stands next to one of four Well of Hope's free-standing food pantries in Flint.
Morgan explained that the purpose of the dinner is to not only feed local families for Thanksgiving but to also remind those who are often overlooked that they are not defined by their financial circumstances.
This heartfelt reminder coincides with Well of Hope's mission to break the cycle of poverty and restore community integrity.
The planning process for the dinner is a year-long process that involves preparation, patience, and prayer.
“I rest all of December, almost go into hermit mode because it is a year-long planning process,” said Morgan. “I start praying in January and asking God how He wants me to serve His people this time and I start analyzing who and what it will take to bring that to life. The pre-planning in my head takes a few months because I am really waiting on my prayers to come to direction, and by May, I am in full planning mode.”
When asked what she's looking forward to most at the dinner, Morgan is expecting to shed a few happy tears.
“I am waiting to see which story will bring me to tears because, at this point, I can just stop saying I will not cry,” said Morgan. “Last year, a lady told me, 'You think of everything for us, you even have spaghetti salad, and I didn’t think I would have it this Thanksgiving' — that was the tearjerker.”
This year, Well of Hope will be giving one mother and her children a mini-vacation as a gift to the community. “There is life beyond Flint and I am elated Well of Hope gets to sow that seed into the life of one family this year,” said Morgan.
The 'Blessed to be a Blessing' dinner is funded by Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Mott Community College, Genesee Health System, 1855 & Co, Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle, Pentecostal Temple Apostolic Church, HAP- Care Source, Robert & Sharonna Owens, The Ananich Family, Chia Morgan Professional Services, Team One Credit Union, and Alvern & Theresa Lock.
For those who would like to help Well of Hope feed the Flint community year-round, the organization has four free-standing food pantries that are available 24/7 and accept non-perishable items. Families can access them any time of the day at their convenience and anonymously. The pantries are located at Alma & MLK, Monteith & Dougherty, Myrtle & Saginaw, and at 1422 W. Court St.
“Every year, I say I am not going to cry but every year I am somewhere wiping my face,” said Morgan. “I am honestly looking forward to talking to my guests and seeing the look on their faces when they see the surprises I have for them in year 15.”
To learn more about Well of Hope and how you can volunteer, visit: wellofhopeflint.org and find it on Facebook.
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