A multisite church based in Ohio collected more than 100,000 meals for the local-area needy and an additional 60,000 pounds of food for people in South Africa.
The food is being distributed to local partners this week, Joseph Jones, director of events at Crossroads told the CP. He explained that there will be "two shipping containers that will head to our South African partners for arrival in the next couple of months."
While the event has been fairly consistent through the years, Jones explained to the CP that this year Crossroads made a more concerted effort to include food pantries.
"We have targeted local food pantries a bit more aggressively than in years past," he noted. "Aside from the 100,000-plus meals and 60,000 pounds of food we'll send to partners in South Africa, we did collect and distribute 16,302 food items to local pantries specifically to feed students."
Founded in 1996, the Crossroads Church has grown to 14 campuses in Ohio and Kentucky, including ministries at seven correctional institutions, according to the church's website.
Thanksgiving does mean the start of the giving season, especially among churches.
Bless Friday - Christians Celebrate Christmas with Service
A group of churches in Texas is planning to observe that is known as "Bless Friday" rather than its members participating in the sales event known as Black Friday.
According to the group's website, "Bless Friday is a movement to honor Christ by starting the Christmas season with service. Our vision in to transform Black Friday, a national shopping phenomenon, into Bless Friday, a spirit-filled service day. We're here to help connect individuals, groups, and churches to the service opportunities that can transform our communities and our hearts."
"Beginning the Christmas celebration with service changes the way you experience the season. It can be especially transformative for children to shift their focus from receiving presents to serving others," stated Chuck Fox, the event's founder on the group's website. "Join us by picking an activity that honors Christ, gather together your family and friends, and start your Christmas celebration with service."