CINCINNATI (FOX19) - It started in one woman’s kitchen as a simple act of Thanksgiving kindness. Now Gerri Lewis needs as many helping hands as she can get.
The result? Lewis has lost count, actually. But a quick review finds 20 turkeys, seven hams, 200 lbs. of potatoes and 30 pies, in addition to dinner rolls and green beans galore.
That’s the menu for tomorrow, Lewis says, when the doors of Breiel Church in Middletown will open to anyone and everyone who wants to come.
“We do it to build up our community,” Lewis told FOX19 NOW, “to give a sense of community. And so that nobody that doesn’t have a place to go isn’t home alone. We want to have a place for them to come and feel welcome and feel loved on.”
Lewis started the community Thanksgiving eight years ago. It caught on quickly. Now she says they feed nearly 500 people every year.
“That’s on a three hour rotation,” Lewis explained. “People will come in, they’ll have a community, that’ll have a meal and they’ll leave.”
The more people who come, the more cooking Lewis, her cousin and her volunteer friends have to do.
They cooked all day Wednesday, and they’ll return to the church Thanksgiving day at 8 a.m. to do some more.
They’ve had help, though. Middletown High School Football players joined them to peel the potatoes.
They’ll have help taking people who can’t make it on their own to and from select pick-up and drop-off locations, too.
And they’ll have help loading the leftovers into containers—300 of them—to take out to the homeless.
"Anyone that I know who is maybe homeless, or near homeless, that didn’t make it in for whatever reason,” Lewis said, “we make sure they get something.”
Want to attend the 8th Annual Middletown Community Thanksgiving? The event runs noon-3 p.m. Thanksgiving day at Breiel Church.
If you want to attend but don’t have a ride, text 513.649.9699 and someone will pick you up.
Pick-up and drop-off locations are listed below:
- Advance Auto parking lot on Central Avenue, pickup at 11:30 a.m.
- Wilbraham Apartments, pickup at 11:30 a.m.
- Projects on Main Street (bus stop), pickup at 11:45 a.m.
- Amanda Area Damon Park, pickup at noon
- D’s Market in the Sherman Park area, pickup at 12:45 p.m.
- Center of Hope, 1300 Girard Avenue, pickup at 1 p.m.
- Hope House, 34 S. Main Street, pickup at 1 p.m.