PRESTONSBURG – For the 12th consecutive year, members of the C.A.R.E. (Community Awareness Reaching Everyone) program at Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) held a community Thanksgiving dinner.
This year, the club, comprised of Human Services students, partnered with Hope in the Mountains, the St. James Episcopal Church and the Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry to feed families in Floyd County.
“We often think about giving during the holiday season, but hunger is a real issue for many of our neighbors all year long,” said Tammy Ball, LCSW, coordinator of the Human Services program and C.A.R.E. Club advisor. “This is a time to give thanks for what we have and what we are capable of doing, but also spread the word that hunger is a real issue for so many – the elderly, the unemployed, the underemployed and the homeless.”
Through the generosity of BSCTC students, Hope in the Mountains and the St. James Episcopal Church, the group fed more than 230 people on Tuesday, November 24. “It’s a blessing to serve,” said Jimmy McCoy, a BSCTC graduate who founded Hope in the Mountains with his wife, Renee.
“It’s also a blessing to hear the stories of those who are here. They have hopes and dreams and simply lending a helping hand lets them know there are people in this world who care about them and what they are going through.”
As the event started to take shape, local businesses and other individuals lent their support. Ball and her students especially want to thank Food City for its donation of side items.
Dr. Devin Stephenson, president of BSCTC, expressed his gratitude to Ball and the students who participated in the event.
“These students are going into fields where they will work in the trenches of transformation each day,” he said. “I applaud their efforts to make a difference.”
Throughout the year, the C.A.R.E. Club works a variety of events promoting community awareness and volunteerism. “It’s all about people and giving back,” said Selena Jarrell, a BSCTC student and C.A.R.E. Club member. “It was much more than a warm meal. It was conversation and it was truly a blessing to give rather than to receive.”