CTO, Kora’s come together for Christmas

Published 11:44 pm Friday, December 18, 2009

“The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”

– Luke 3:11

John the Baptist said these words to those coming to be baptized by him, but they are just as true now as they were more than 2,000 years ago.

Sharing our blessings. For many people, the holidays would not be times of joy without sharing what they have with those who do not have enough.

In celebrating the birth of Jesus, many people work to follow His example. Locally, the Coming Together Organization and Kora’s Place restaurant are again teaming up to share a Christmas Day meal with those in need.

“About six years ago, they came to us to prepare the food for them and fix the plates for those in need,” said Myra Harris of Kora’s Place. “They have somebody come by and pick up the plates to deliver to the needy, and they have somebody from the detention center, the county jail and the city jail come by and get plates for those who are detained in jail.

“Normally, we have turkey and ham, dressing, two or three other vegetables, like green beans and corn, a roll and some type of dessert. Almost all of the food is donated. Organizations and people give donations to buy the food, and vendors have some things donated, like vegetables, meat, even the bread and dessert are donated.”

“This is an ongoing project we do in conjunction with the Give a Kid a Wish project,” said CTO president Willard Williams. “We’ve been doing this for 19 years. It’s being done through donations from the public: vendors, the hospital, Wal-Mart, RockTenn, and other businesses and individuals throughout the community.”

CTO will have its Give a Kid a Wish toy delivery on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Demopolis Housing Authority.

Williams said that 785 people were fed last year, either at Kora’s or had the dinner delivered to them, if they were unable to get out. This year, they are expecting up to 1,000.

“I think that it’s a good idea that CTO has, to feed people at Christmastime,” said the Rev. Lacornia Harris, the pastor at the Aimwell Baptist Church. “I think that it could be larger if the people of Demopolis were united together to do this. There are people in Demopolis who contribute monetarily, but I think that it could be even larger.

“It was said that 4 million more people in the world go hungry each week. There are a lot of people in this area who are hungry. If we are able and have a chance to help feed people, we ought to do that.”

Harris likened the community as one big neighborhood.

“If you say, ‘I’m going to have a Christmas dinner,’ and the person next door to you is hungry, then you should share with him,” he said. “I think we need to step out of our boundaries and say, ‘I’m going to have my Christmas dinner, but I’m going to be sure that the person next door to me eats, also.’ I think it’s time that we start looking around and see if we can help somebody else.

“I’m not saying to deprive yourself, but we need to take some of what we’ve got and help somebody else. That time has come again, to share the blessing. This is the harvest season, Biblically speaking, and in the harvest season, they gathered and shared. We need to go back to the harvest season where, if God has been good to us, it’s time for us to share with somebody else.”

Harris said that he is learning that that is our purpose for being here.

“We need to be about sharing and helping somebody else,” he said. “We’ve stopped doing that, and we need to start back.”

Williams said that a lot of the people who come to share the meal often have to make decisions between paying the power bill or paying the heating bill.

“In this type of economy, they’re suffering,” he said. “People are hurting, worse now than they were last year.”

Those wanting to contribute to the Christmas meal should contact Williams at (334) 289-0142 or (334) 216-3310 or mail donations to: Coming Together Organization, P.O. Box 1084, Demopolis, AL 36732. CTO is a 501(c)3 organization, and all donations are tax-deductible. Donations are also being taken at Kora’s Place on U.S. Highway 43 South.

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. It just makes sense that, as God’s creations, we could give some back.