MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A local church is on a mission to make sure as many people in the Lowcountry get to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner.
Since Monday morning the men's ministry at Seacoast Church in Mt. Pleasant has been preparing turkeys for needy families in the greater Charleston area.
Timers have been beeping throughout the day and overnight hours as the turkeys cook ahead of Thursday.
For several years the men's ministry prepares the famous holiday birds for its sister church, the Dream Center, in North Charleston, where they're then handed out to families in need.
"We really want to share what God has blessed us with, with some of the people in the community who may be less fortunate," said Men's Ministry Director Brian Lewis. "People who may not have families to share Thanksgiving meals with. It's our opportunity to give back to the community."
As of Tuesday morning the group received more than 700 turkeys to prepare.
Lewis said this is by far the largest number they've ever taken in, but unfortunately they're only able to cook around 550 of them because of time.
"We're going to deliver the cooked turkeys we've already committed to, but also delivering some frozen birds for them to hand out to families who would rather have those," Lewis said.
The turkeys are being fried in several of the portable fryers, or roasted in a smoker that can hold 60 at a time.
Lewis said seeing the number of turkeys donated this year shows there's a huge need out there for families.
"People still need a hand from time to time," he said. "If you have the margin to do so, then that's your calling to do that. It really shows there's an existing need in the community, and we really love the opportunity to help fulfill that."
The job isn't done yet, the men will spend another night out in the parking lot making sure families are able to have a good thanksgiving dinner.
"We actually had one person donate 250 turkeys this year," Lewis said. "[This is the] first time it's ever happened. It's just such rewarding work that they stay here until the work is done."
The men hope to have at least 550 turkeys prepared by noon Wednesday. They'll then work on making side dishes for those families who will be receiving the birds.