No more than a few months ago I made a plea at an early morning Mountain Ministerial meeting as a voice crying out in the wilderness that the Manna House may no longer offer the traditional Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter meals due to donations being 60% less this year than last year. The Manna House Board of Directors determined if we canceled those meal giveaways we would save approximately $18,000 which would allow purchasing of staple food throughout the year.
When the Sierra Star heard of our dilemma, the entire staff rallied our village of Oakhurst to the rescue.
If you attended the Dec. 19 Christmas give-away, you would have realized the hearts to be laborers in the Lord's vineyard. Some used muscle, some helped with logistics, some were not able to be present in body, but made the financial sacrifices that made it all come together.
Folks were in line at 5:30 a.m. in the cold for the 10 a.m. give-away. They all had smiling faces and were treated to hot smoked turkey sandwiches prepared by Pastor Bill Rice of Rushing Wind Ministries. More than 300 turkeys, hams, chickens, and fixin's for a traditional holiday meal were distributed.
In addition, more than 1,500 toys, wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, batteries and an endless supply of stocking stuffers were given out.
Some believe the food we give out is all donated not true. If so, we would only be able to give food out for a few days. It's only through financial donations that we are able to purchase food at an average cost of $4,000 per month to offer comfort to those in need with dignity.
Let's look at the toys. If it were not for the efforts of the United States Marine Corp Toys for Tots Drive and the relentless efforts of Michael Perreira and his caring veterans, there would be no toys at all. We thank them all for their service to our country and their continued service to preserving our nation's traditions in peace.
Above all, the reason for the season and why Manna House does what we do throughout the past 31 years is so others may know Christ as we do.
Please stop by the Manna House throughout the year any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a tour and discover other programs besides food and clothing offered.
We thank each and every one of you in the Mountain Area who helps contribute through your generous acts of loving kindness, which allows us to love one another. We cannot do this with out you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
May all good things happen to you and your beautiful families throughout the New Year.