Thanks for commitment

Published 8:41 pm Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hundreds of volunteers gave up several hours from their Saturday this weekend to help thousands of their neighbors.

At two annual events, the volunteers rushed back and forth like an army of ants, organizing crowds, registering recipients, handing out food, helping people carry the gifts to their car and doing everything needed to help the events succeed.

The excitement in the air was palpable. Everybody wore a smile and greeted each other warmly in the spirit of the now-arrived holiday season.

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The food giveaways, both of which have been going on for years, have become a staple of the holidays in Suffolk. They exemplify what really makes Suffolk surprising — the small-town atmosphere in a growing city and neighbors helping neighbors while asking for nothing in return.

While the purpose is the same, the organizations putting on the food giveaways are very different.

The Impact Suffolk giveaway brings together nearly three dozen churches from throughout the city. Each church signs up to bring canned vegetables or boxes of dry goods, such as stuffing, commonly eaten at Thanksgiving, and the organization provides turkeys with funds raised throughout the year.

The one presented by LeOtis Williams of LW’s Lawn Service and MWM Investments started nine years ago with one man who had a heart to serve his community and purchased a few turkeys to hand out. The giveaway has increased to more than 2,000 turkeys, along with side items, as well as freshly grilled hot dogs and hamburgers handed out on site.

In these days of a struggling economy, the need is great for community leaders like Williams and Impact Suffolk to step up and do great things. To them, and to the volunteers at each event, we say thanks for a job well done and your ongoing commitment to the community.