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Volunteers join couple's mission to feed hungry

Posted: November 30, 2010 4:42 p.m.
Updated: December 1, 2010 5:00 a.m.

 In 2005 our dear friends, Tom and Cindy Fussell, owners of the Smokin’ and Grillin’ Restaurant in Camden, invited our family to take part in a small ministry they started feeding the hungry and homeless. That Thanksgiving Day, along with a small group of “restaurant regulars,” we fed around 100 people a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Since then, we have expanded to include not just Thanksgiving, but Christmas Day as well, and added “home delivery” for those unable to come and pick up their meals. We started calling ourselves “Kershaw County Cares” (KC Cares) a few years ago, although -- as it was in the beginning -- it wasn’t about a name or a group, it was about serving those who needed a meal on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

This year, over 125 volunteers gathered on Thanksgiving Day to prepare, pack, serve and deliver 1,024 meals to those in Kershaw County who would have otherwise done without. Hundreds of volunteer hours went into the preparation before Thanksgiving as well. Sixty percent of the meals we prepared were delivered by a team of volunteers that drove more than 900 total miles across Kershaw County. More than just a “meal delivery service,” our volunteers spent time with these families -- many of whom live alone, with no family to share the holiday season with.

As has become a tradition in itself, Camden native and NFL football standout Vonnie Holliday donated 40 turkeys to our efforts, while KershawHealth once again provided dozens of large pans of homemade stuffing, cooked fresh on Thanksgiving morning. We also had families donate cans of green beans and yams, turkeys, bread, cakes, cookies and pies. Churches  -- big and small -- provided volunteers and baked goods as well.

We would consume an entire newspaper thanking every individual involved by name, and we would certainly omit someone. So, to all who played a part, thank you! We were overwhelmed by the generosity, love and compassion exhibited by friends -- old and new -- as we all sought to make a small difference in the plight of the hungry and less fortunate in Kershaw County. We are working now on plans for Christmas this year, and hope to finalize our plans this week.

In closing, it’s difficult to talk about KC Cares and the efforts of so many without mentioning Tom and Cindy Fussell again. We’ve known both of them for many years, and know that what they do they do out of love for this community. While many see them only on Thanksgiving and Christmas, those who know them see this as an extension of what they do year round -- supporting various charitable endeavors in the community and making sure – always -- that those who truly are in need don’t go without. This is their mission -- their heart -- and none of this would have been possible without the two of them. Consider this our thank you to them, from the hundreds who have joined them in what they do!

Until next time,

 

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