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Stepping up to save Thanksgiving

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

A group of volunteers have stepped up to save Humble's holiday feast.  It's an annual event that feeds thousands of people on Thanksgiving Day.

Over the summer, the organizer said she wouldn't be able to plan the feast in 2012.  For months, nobody stepped up to take over.  It was finally announced this past weekend the feast would be canceled.

Now, it is back on.

"People started calling before 8 a.m. this morning and we've had maybe 150 people call in to volunteer," church volunteer Carlton Sudduth said.

The folks at First United Methodist Church in Humble have exactly one week to save Thanksgiving.

"The Thanksgiving feast has been a tradition of Humble for quite a while.  A lady named Bonnie Gardner started this so people could get together," Pastor E.B. Beasley, Jr. said.

But Gardner was unable to plan the feast this year that feeds thousands of community members.

"We've got eight days to pull this together and do what Bonnie does in three to six months.  Bonnie tells us we need $30,000 to $40,000 to make this work.  We're still looking for it.  She tells us we need 500 to 600 volunteers.  We're still looking," Beasley said.

Church volunteers like Carlton Sudduth are spending hours trying to round up people and donations so the annual tradition can be carried on.

"A lot of people were disappointed that it wasn't going to happen.  We have all kinds of people that come.  It's not just the homeless people.  People have their whole family come and decide to just come for thanksgiving dinner," Sudduth said.

It's only been 24 hours since the church took over and already the phone has been ringing off the hook.

"I just talked to lady in Pearland and she said she's going to call all of her friends," Sudduth said.

"I even had one lady from Clear Lake call me and say she has no connection to Humble, but she caught the spirit and wants to be a volunteer and be part of it," Pastor Beasely said.

Even Humble ISD is doing their part.

"These will be placemats, centerpieces during the feast, on the tables.  They say things like Thanksgiving, gobble gobble gobble gobble," Sudduth said.

Beasley said the fact that the feast got canceled and is now back on may be generating some new excitement and greater commitment.

"This city comes through, this city does what needs to be done, so no I'm not surprised by anything good that happens in Humble, Texas," he said.

If you'd like to volunteer, you can call the First United Methodist Church in Humble at 281-446-2332.  You can also make a monetary donation.

By Mail:
"Humble Thanksgiving Feast"
1702 Wilson Road
Humble, TX 77396

Direct Deposit:
"Humble Thanksgiving Feast" c/o Citizens Bank
8811 FM 1960 Bypass Road West
Humble, TX 77338

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