Volunteers prepare to deliver meals at LaMay's Catering in Alton.ALTON - Community members teamed up at LaMay’s Catering to give out 150 hot side dishes, 200 turkeys and 500 meals for their annual Thanksgiving Blessing Giveaway.

The giveaway is a partnership between Shenekia Stovall and Jason and Kayla Harrison, owners of LaMay’s. On Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, Stovall, Jason, Kayla and many volunteers from Deliverance Temple came together to pass out hot food and deliver meals to houses around Alton.

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“Times are hard for everyone right now,” Stovall said. “And just to be able to be a blessing and to serve, that’s who I am. That’s just why it’s important to me. From a church perspective, we need to be in the community, not only worshiping but serving and making sure we are meeting the needs of our neighbors. To do this with Jason and the church, it’s an honor.”

While the giveaway is about helping others, the mission is personal to Stovall. When she lost her son, Monte, eight years ago, she decided to give out ten turkeys and ten hams for Thanksgiving to help people in his honor.

“For me, Thanksgiving had always been family,” she explained. “Both of my kids used to bring their friends in the house all the time, and so I just fed. When he passed away, I wanted to do something that would honor him, and so I started giving away.”

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The tradition grew from there. Stovall connected with Jason through their church and learned that he distributed hot meals to community members during Thanksgiving. They decided to combine forces six years ago.

Today, the giveaway is a huge community event. Its growth strikes a chord for Stovall.

“As a church, we’re about the community, feeding, and just doing our part,” she said. “My son was very outgoing…For me, it’s just a way to honor, just to continue to serve and keep his name alive, but also being a blessing to many others in the process.”

The group is always looking for volunteers for their annual Thanksgiving Blessing Giveaway. They also appreciate donations. You can contact Stovall at 618-960-8806 or Jason Harrison at 618-223-4211 for more information about the giveaway and how you can help.

As Kayla Harrison added, “It’s just humanity. That’s just what you do.”

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