Pre-med Students Share the Spirit of Thanksgiving

   Agenda | Posted on November 30, 2023

At the second annual Early Thanksgiving Celebration, which took place on Nov. 19 at the Benton Harbor Soup Kitchen, the spirit of Thanksgiving came to life. Community members came together for an evening of giving and camaraderie at the event, which was planned in conjunction with the Salvation Army, Second Chance True Gospel Ministries and Sisters from Another Mother.

In addition to these sponsors, volunteers from a variety of organizations, including local law enforcement, the King Darius Masonic Lodge, Benton Harbor Lions Club and the Andrews University Pre-med Club, prepared and served 200 meals for the community.

As the public relations coordinator of the Pre-med Club, Katherine Pierre assisted in coordinating with local organizations and gathering 10 club members. This volunteerism is an example of how the student group is making community service a priority this year.

Pierre, who is studying biology pre-med at Andrews University, explained why she decided to volunteer, saying, "I always had a longing to be involved in the community, as community is what creates one's sense of purpose and belonging." She continued, "Volunteering makes me feel like I am doing what I should be doing. God has called us to love others, and one way we can do so is by spending time involving ourselves in a cause greater than ourselves."

Diane Young, president of Sisters from Another Mother, spoke about the diverse participation, saying, "This year we had a ton of different people that came to volunteer and give back. Just seeing the love on the people's faces, the folks that are here are just loving each other, fellowshipping, enjoying themselves."

Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey praised the event, stating, "This is a great event, and all the volunteers are doing Jesus's work to give back to the community, to people facing challenges. Nobody wants anybody to be hungry, and all the volunteers here tonight celebrate Thanksgiving by giving back."

Pastor Jay Haynes of Second Chance True Gospel Ministries emphasized the importance of community support, stating, "I get a chance to see a lot of folks that need a second chance. It's our duty and God's commandment for us to give back to our community if God has blessed us to be a blessing."

Lieutenant Mario Bledsoe of the Benton Harbor Salvation Army emphasized the event's purpose, saying, "If the Lord gave us 100 years, we want to bring it back 100 years. We want to be a blessing to those we serve every day, providing hope and meals to everyone we encounter."

The second annual Early Thanksgiving Celebration not only provided essential meals but also showed the power of unity and compassion in creating a stronger, more connected community.

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