Monday, November 23, 2009


Amherst – Sunday was the 2nd Annual Great Turkey Give Away in Amherst and many families in need this holiday season took advantage of the event.

Rich Johnson, Pastor of Great Lakes Church in Amherst, said that the event is just another way their church family gives back to the community. “It was even more important this year as the unemployment rate has grown and families in our community have a greater need for help like this and we’re very happy to lend a hand.”

Johnson said that his church has also given away free hams in the past and also passed out bottles of cold water during hot days to total strangers. They have one more event planned for the day after Thanksgiving. “Out Church is a “go and do” Church – just interrupting people’s lives with small acts of kindness so we’re going to load up the van with gallons of hot cocoa and go to the Midway Mall and pass out cocoa to people waiting in line around Sears and Best Buy.”

Last year Great Lakes Church passes out around 120 turkeys, this year they collected enough money to buy 160 turkeys.

Johnson said it’s their belief that going out into the community is the best way to build a solid Church. “We believe it’s better to show people Jesus then just talking about it – there are people who just talk about it in a room but as we read and study the Bible we feel that going out and giving back to the community and being more Christ like. We do for others as much as we do for ourselves.”

Deacon Paul Swartz of Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Amherst, said his Church joined forces with Great Lakes Church this year to help the community. “There is such a need for this type of event in our area so when we got the call and the request from Great Lakes Church we were happy to help them. We went into our outreach money and donated but we also felt it was important to be here today too – just another way we like to connect with the community.”

This year there were more turkeys then people at the door so the volunteers went to the streets. Johnson had the volunteers passing out turkeys to people passing through downtown Amherst. “We’re asking people if they know of someone who is in need of a turkey for this holiday and they will take it to them and experience how that feels. Our last turkey went to a man who rode up on his bicycle and said that he needed one so I was glad that last one went to him.”
One of the best quotes of the day came from Chuck Humel, Chronicle Telegram Photographer; “There are a lot of hungry people in this world – today, with these people there are fewer.”

To learn more about Great Lakes Church click their link and visit their website.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone remember the WKRP in Cincinnatti episode? As God is my witness I'd swear that turkeys could fly! Haas

3:44 PM  

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