WILLIAMSON – Volunteers gathered at Jacob’s Well mission in downtown Williamson Tuesday, to serve the organization’s 9th annual Thanksgiving dinner.
The mission is open throughout the day to provide a Thanksgiving dinner to those that may otherwise not have one. Janette O’Brien, Director of Jacob’s Well Mission explained that the Thanksgiving dinner typically draws a large crowd. “We usually have anywhere from 200 to 400 people. We get donations through churches and individuals. Everybody has been really good,” O’Brien said.
The mission was well prepared for the expected crowd. For Monday’s event, the mission prepared six turkeys and three hams.
Although the decline in the local economy has impacted donations, the mission has persevered. “Where the mines have gone out of business, we don’t have their donations anymore and the people that worked there, I don’t have their donations anymore. We have had to start road blocking at the mall and at BBT to raise funds,” O’Brien continued.
Jacob’s Well has also turned to social media to generate donations. “We put a fundraiser on the internet and we have got some funds there. That has helped quite a bit,” O’Brien stated.
The mission is open seven days a week and twice on Friday to feed the needy. “We try to help all we can, “O’Brien said. “We have our clothes closet now where people can come and get free clothes. People can come to church Friday and Saturday night at 6 p.m. and breakfast from 9 to 10 on Sunday morning. We have some really good volunteers.”
Donations are being accepted for the clothing closet as well as toys.
Jacob’s Well is making preparations for upcoming Christmas activities. “People that want to help buy our Christmas gifts for the kids they can help with that. We do a children’s program and another dinner for Christmas. The children’s program is December 17 and the Christmas dinner will be on December 19.”
Bobbi Pack, a volunteer who helps with the clothing closet stated that the main thing is trying to help those in need. “We are trying our best to help people. We have expanded a lot,” Pack stated.
The mission accepts donations throughout the year and is especially in need of donations for the Christmas dinners and activities that have been scheduled. For those interested in donating to Jacob’s Well, call 304-236-5955, or 304-235-2730. Donations may also be sent to Jacob’s Well Mission P.O. Box 403 Williamson W.Va. 25661.
The Williamson Public Library is also participating in a canned food drive to benefit Jacob’s Well. The library will be accepting can food donations until December 20. A donation of two or more can food items can be used to forgive existing library fines. For more information the library can be contacted by calling 304-235-6029.
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)