Thousands fed during Christmas event which gives back to the community

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Two-thousand families in the Tri-county were able to celebrate Christmas a few days early thanks to the out pour of donations from the community.

Tricounty Family Ministries held its 28th annual Christmas Brunch Monday.

There were dozens of angels giving back to the community as Christmas carols played at Cherokee Place United Methodist Church. The fellowship hall of the church was filled with families from the area who were in need of a little help this holiday season.

"It means everything because it's hard to be able to get turkey and things of that nature, especially with the holidays," said Unikwa Anderson, of North Charleston. "It's definitely a blessing to come here and I don't have to worry about anything."

"It's the fruition of all the labors of the volunteers and everyone who supports this ministry during the year," said Sue Hanshaw, Chairman & CEO of Tricounty Family Ministries. "It makes your heart skip a beat at the end of the day when you see what has been done here."

Those who came were able to sit down and have a Christmas dinner with their families, thanks to the ministry and Feed the Need.

Families were able to get a plate full of potatoes, green beans, ham, turkey and macaroni, which was a favorite among the kids.

It was an adjoining room thought that put smiles on many of the kids faces. A room filled with toys.

"I lit up," Anderson said when she saw her daughter receive a new bike. "I knew she was going to light up. She loves pink, and she loves bikes."

"All the children are going to get toys, coats, socks, shoes," Anderson said. "The women are going to get purses filled with toiletries, coats... just anything and everything we have we're going to share today."

Hanshaw can't give enough credit to the volunteers who took time out of their day to give back to the community. Two of those volunteers were Mother Emanuel shooting survivors Felicia Sanders and Polly Sheppard.

"It's heart-warming, it's getting back to normal, if there is a normal, and showing that life does go on and being involved in ministry is what it's about," Hanshaw said.

"It's a blessing because there aren't a lot of places you can go and you don't always have," Anderson added.

Tricounty Family Ministries will be officially operating out of the church come February. Hanshaw hopes to provide educational and health programs from the building in the future.

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