by Jerry Couch
ONE OF THE BEST ASPECTS of life in the St. Paul/Castlewood/Dante area is our sense of community. During the COVID 19 pandemic, some of our expressions of community were put on hold out of necessity as we cut back on visiting and social interaction to help curb the spread of the virus.
A recent example of the way in which our sense of community has rebounded is the FANS (Feed a Neighbor Supper) program. Once a month, volunteers gather in the fellowship hall of Fort Gibson United Methodist Church to produce meals for delivery to area residents at their homes. If meal recipients are so inclined, those who deliver the meals also visit with them.
The program is not a recruiting drive, and it does not specifically target the needy. It focuses on the elderly, those recovering from surgery, and those who live alone. There’s no “hook” in it. What the program IS can be partly described this way:
Conceived by Lynn Ramsey, FANS is a volunteer-led, outwardly focused project that began in October of 2021. Currently, participating volunteers are from Fort Gibson United Methodist Church, St. Paul United Methodist Church, Brick Baptist Church, and the St. Paul First Baptist Church. There are also volunteers who don’t attend any church, and some who are not part of an organized effort. By the time you read this, there will probably be new volunteers from churches not listed here. All are welcome. All are needed.
Meals consist of seasonal time-proven favorites everyone enjoys. Provisions are also made for those who limit their sugar intake. Distribution takes place in the afternoon of the third Thursday of each month. The next scheduled delivery will take place on Thursday, August 18, 2022.
When something is good, it just naturally grows. Many hands make light work, and joyful hearts make it even lighter. FANS participants invite other churches, organizations, and individuals to join with them in this program as witnesses to the community – demonstrating that we are all on the same team. Would you like to help or donate? Would you like to receive a home-delivered meal? If so, please text Margarette (Lynn) Ramsey at 276-393-8393, or send your request to her via Facebook Messenger, along with your name, address, and phone number.
PICTURED BELOW ARE SOME OF THE HELPERS WHO MAKE FANS A REALITY…
Pastor Pam Sutherland and Lynn Ramsey – making good things happen.
Joe Tomlinson takes a well-deserved break after grilling burgers.
Magge Jessee, Juanita Kelly, and others prepared food to be shared.
The church’s refrigerators were soon STUFFED.
Glenna McReynolds, ready to pick up and deliver a meal.
Glenna Hensdill, having fun staging burgers for assembly.
The “Assembly Line Crew” dishing up meals consisting of an assortment of salads.
Banana pudding for dessert – yes, it was GOOD!
Pastor Pam puts the finishing touch on a meal by adding fruit salad.
Anna Harrison and Ronnie McReynolds bag meals according to delivery routes.
These bags will soon be filled with meals.
Sandy Cozzolino and Anna Harrison – all set to deliver meals.
Tony Watkins loading up meals he will be delivering.
Bob and Sandra Ramey help deliver meals – and enjoy doing so.