There is one event each year at Thanksgiving here in our town that continues to grow by leaps and bounds, providing more help to those that need a hot meal on the holidays. This is an event that for over 20 plus years now has continued to make use of our community’s generous volunteers, wonderful leadership, and spirit of charity. That event is the annual Up All Night Thanksgiving luncheon and it returned to the community this past Thursday, November 23rd, on Thanksgiving Day.
This year was a banner year for the team at Up All Night, serving over 700 people, with volunteers returning from previous years along with some new faces. There were huge donations of turkeys and other foods that all went towards feeding those that would not otherwise have access to a home cooked Thanksgiving meal. Volunteers began arriving shortly after 10 that morning and with plates in tow, they set out on their deliveries.
Jimmy Edwards, who has been involved with the program for 17 years, knows and understands the importance of what they do. The reach and distance of the plates continues to grow, as plates have gone out all across the surrounding areas in all of the years of the program. The team has traveled all the way to LaFayette, Alabama, to Tarboro, Georgia. We go to Hogansville, Luthersville, Grantville, all the way down to Manchester, and down to Tarbutton, West Point, the Valley and more.
This is truly an incredible service that is provided to people all over Georgia and some in Alabama. Their annual Christmas dinner is fast approaching, with the team beginning to seek donations. The items that they are in search of are the same things that you would buy to feed your own families. Turkeys, Hams, Dressings, and Cranberry Sauce are always welcome and appreciated by the group. As Up All Night continues to grow, they are also looking to change up and add people to the program. Up All Night is looking for young, dependable people to add to their leadership to make the program reach even greater heights than ever thought of before.
The UP All Night tradition leaves a legacy, a standard that others should strive for with their efforts in charitable work. Hundreds of people were served a delicious meal this year, in a holiday season that is very difficult for some people. For nearly 25 years, Edwards and a large team of volunteers and supporters have continued the tradition, giving up their own time of rest and relaxation to help those in need. Let us all hope that this is a meal and a lasting impact that will continue for many years to come.