Katy hosts annual Thanksgiving event
Organizers of the eighth annual Katy Thanksgiving Feast are planning on 1,200 for dinner on Nov. 22 at Katy First United Methodist Church.
For the first time, people can visit www.katyfeasts.org to register online for the event. People who lack access to a computer or smart phone, may call Rhonda at 281-384-0288 for reservations. Spanish speakers may call Claudia at 832-651-2650 to make a reservation. Information fliers are distributed at Katy Christian Ministries (KCM), St. Vincent de Paul at Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church, Christ Clinic and Texas Children’s Pediatrics Katy. People also may email email@example.com for information.
Kathy Fraser, event spokeswoman, said folks can dine at the church for fellowship. “We also have meals that they can pick up if they’re waiting on family members who are working that day and want to share that meal together. We also will deliver to shut-ins. We have done that every year.”
She encourages people to sign up by Nov. 20. “It’s a wonderful way to start the holiday season by sharing with those who have much less or who do without,” she said. “Plenty of people still are not in their homes (after Harvey).
“Our homeless community is invited to attend,” added Fraser, who’s been involved with the event since the beginning.
Tina Hatcher, director of Hope Impacts, a Katy nonprofit that works with homeless, will again escort homeless to the feast and have food provided for those unable to attend.
It is one of five nonprofits working with a cadre of a dozen churches and businesses. The other nonprofits are KCM, Clothed by Faith, Christ Clinic and the Pregnancy Help Center. “Nonprofits will be on hand so people can get connected to services,” explained Fraser.
Clothed by Faith volunteers will provide clothing to those in need. Last year, the nonprofit served about 500 people.
Joanie and Bud Ramser of Katy First United Methodist Church are co-chairs this year. Fraser and Steve Meadows of Holy Covenant United Methodist Church had co-chaired the event since the beginning.
Joanie Ramser said, “Volunteers all come from different churches. We pull from the congregations. The coolest thing about this is it is all denominations; it’s not one particular denomination.”
There are ways the community can help, too. Ramser said financial donations can be made payable to Holy Covenant United Methodist Church, 22111 Morton Ranch Road Katy, 77449. Or, people can donate directly through the www.katyfeast.org website.
“We’re also collecting diapers, new/gently used coats and food products as people come there to get a meal they also can get supplies,” Ramser added.
Donations of new blankets, coats, nonperishable food items and baby diapers/wipes may be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Nov. 19-21 at the Family Life Center of Katy First United Methodist Church, 5601 Fifth St., Katy.
New business supporters this year include Sierra Classic Homes, which is providing financial support, and Igloo Corp., which is donating large coolers to contain side dishes. Jay Cooper of Candlelight Video Productions has volunteered to take photos.Westside Chevrolet and Westside Kia have been supporters from the beginning, said Fraser, as have Midway, which donates ham; Randalls, which donates turkeys, Good Ole Boys, which cooks the turkeys; and Panera Bread which donates bread.
Katy Budget Books will provide children’s books for the event, she said. “We’ll have a children’s area that will involve holidays crafts and things for the kiddos to do, including face painting.”
“We’ll also have folks available for prayer if people are in need of prayer,” said Fraser. “We had a lot of takers on that last year. People are going through some tough situations.”
Fraser and her family have been involved since 2008 in the Katy Thanksgiving Feast. “We were looking for somewhere to participate in some sort of outreach on Thanksgiving but did not want to go to the George R. Brown (Convention Center in Houston).”
She learned about Antioch Missionary Baptist Church’s effort since 2003 to feed their neighbors in need. She contacted Pastor Tyrone Freeman who said she and her family could join the tradition. Next year more people came to help. After announcing the event at church another year, even more volunteers came and tents were added to accommodate the larger numbers. “We grew and grew till we outgrew that kitchen,” Fraser said.
Organizers looked to move to a larger venue somewhere in Katy. After discussions with the Katy mayor, organizers decided to keep churches as event hosts. “We wanted it to rotate around so it’s not any one church’s outreach but it’s the community. That’s why it moves every year from church to church,” explained Fraser.
But Antioch remains a part of the event with congregation members Rosa Kelly and Rita Williams on the committee and the Rev. Freeman attending every year to give the blessing, she added.