Through the grace of members of Daughters of The King, a nonprofit organization of Christian women dedicated to improving their community in practical ways, Thanksgiving came a week early for more than 400 Franklin residents.
It all started on Nov. 20, when members of the organization’s Feed My Lambs committee began baking large turkeys in their home ovens. They spent the next day deboning the cooked turkeys and making all the fixin’s to go with the birds — cornbread stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and more.
Later that day, the mouth-watering smell of Thanksgiving dinner filled the Brazelia Harris Community Center on Natchez Street, where, among the chatter, laughter and humming to gospel music playing in the background, the women spent their evening filling large Styrofoam containers with Thanksgiving dinners and packing them into insulated bags.
“Make sure they get good servings,” someone instructed the assembly line of servers.
“We filled the plates high so they have plenty,” said Letitia Culbreath, one of the servers. “We don’t know if some will have anything to eat tomorrow.”
The dinners were delivered by community volunteers to a local nursing home and several pick-up locations, where neighbors picked up the boxes of food and the blessings that went along with them and took them home to enjoy.
The group delivered 250 dinners, and more than 150 more people dropped by the community center to pick up dinners.
“These women have a heart for caring for their community,” Barbara Bowden wrote in an email.
Since the organization was founded by Tracye Tucker, Iris Beech and Fritzi Bronson four years ago, it has grown to several dozen members who serve thousands of meals a year through the Feed My Lambs program. Recently, some local churches began joining in and helping with the mission. They also distribute backpacks filled with school supplies in early August and keep an eye out for neighbors who are struggling in other ways.