Lunenburg Church Providing Thanksgiving Baskets for Needy Fitchburg Families
By Chad Garner
Special to the Sentinel & Enterprise
FITCHBURG -- Thanksgiving is a time for togetherness, reflection and gratitude.
Food, family and football take center stage on Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, some families simply can’t afford a gigantic meal on Thanksgiving.
Sadly, some can’t afford one at all.
But members of the Twin City Baptist Church, on 194 Electric Avenue in Lunenburg, are making it their mission to spread joy and love by helping out families in the Fitchburg Public Schools that are in desperate need of a Thanksgiving meal.
“I know there’s a need in Fitchburg,” said Twin City Baptist Director of Hospitality Tina Tau, a 1983 graduate of Fitchburg High. “I know there’s a big need in Fitchburg and a lot of families are struggling. A lot of families could use a little help.”
Twin City Baptist geared up for its “Thanksgiving Meal Project,” where it provided the fixings for 100 complete Thanksgiving dinners to families in need in FPS.
Those families were recently given coupons, allowing them to pick up non-perishable items such as stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, vegetables, gravy, and packages of mashed potatoes -- all wrapped in a turkey oven roasting pan.
All these items were handed out on Tuesday night at the church.
Each family also received a $10 gift card to Market Basket, so they could purchase a turkey and maybe some fresh vegetables or rolls, depending on the size of the turkey they select in the supermarket.
Parents were simply amazed by the generosity of the church.
“Thank you again, this is such a great help because my family has been going through some financial struggles,” said a FPS parent who wished to remain anonymous. “I became unable to afford my own place and it’s been tough, so this helps a lot and I greatly appreciate it.”
FPS was certainly touched to see Twin City Baptist willing to help out these families.
“It is heartwarming to have the congregation of Twin City Baptist think about Fitchburg families and making their Thanksgiving memorable,” said Acting Superintendent Robert Jokela. “I want to thank Pastor Gary Moritz and Tina Tau for making our families the recipients of their generosity and goodwill.”
Added FPS Director of Enrollment and Parent Engagement Eva Kelly: “This project symbolizes the warmth and spirit of generosity that defines Thanksgiving. Tina, Pastor Gary Moritz and all the members of the Twin City Baptist Church, kindly, reaching to our struggling families, welcoming them in, providing a complete holiday meal, showing others that giving thanks takes many forms. They gave thanks by providing for others -- a lesson in kindness for all of us. We are thankful for them this holiday season.”
The church also arranged delivery to families who couldn’t make it to the church on the pickup date.
All the non-perishable food items were donated by members of the church.
“We have some incredibly generous people,” Tau said.
The children from the church also loved helping out. They did the same thing when filling up backpacks and donating them to FPS earlier this school year.
Twin City Baptist received a donation for 100, $10 gift cards to Market Basket to purchase turkeys.
“People have it in their hearts and minds,” Tau said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about loving our neighbors. All you try to do is love one another; it’s such an easy thing to do.”
When the church initially announced that it was organizing this Thanksgiving Meal Project, its members quickly jumped into action.
“Instantly, they were asking what we needed and what they could do to help out,” Tau said.
Members have been dropping Thanksgiving items off daily since October in preparation for Tuesday’s official pickup.
“Our own church family is very generous,” Tau said.
There’s no greater feeling than knowing people in the community are sitting down with family and enjoying a warm Thanksgiving feast.
“Thanksgiving is all about the meal,” Tau said. “It’s about sitting down at the table together and enjoying the meal.
“This is a pretty cool thing we do.”