Bethlehem Temple gears up for Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway


WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Already they’re setting up the Dream Center in North Wheeling to create a smooth efficient process.

This is the 29th year for the basket giveaway.

Pastor Darrell Cummings says the church hosts the event, but generous support from the entire community makes it possible.

Right now, they’re setting out the non-perishable items.

The turkeys, hams and chickens will be delivered at the last minute.

They don’t presume to know what people want.

So they give them a lot to choose from.

“We’ll allow you to pick it out to make it tailor-made for you and your family and your needs,” said Pastor Cummings.

They don’t require proof of need.

You don’t have to be from Wheeling, or even from West Virginia.

However children need to be present in order to receive clothing.

Rev. Cummings feels called to feed families for the holidays for a reason.

“I know what it was, when I was younger, not to be able to have food to feed my family,” he said. “I know that position.  I told God I would pay it forward ever since that time.”

Now he sees other people paying it forward too.

He says people who once came through the line now serve those in need.

As they worked in the Dream Center, a truck pulled up out front.

It was Miklas Meat Market, donating more food.

“This man does a wonderful job supporting the valley, so it’s an honor to help him,” said Dave Rotriga, owner. “I wish more people would help him. This is what the holiday is about. Giving, not receiving.”

The doors will open Saturday (November 23) at 11 a.m.

In years past, some people have waited in line outside all night in the cold.

“It speaks to some desperation, but I hate to see that,” Rev. Cummings said. “I’m not happy to see that.  I would encourage them to come just an hour before at the most. And we’re going to try to get them in and out as quick as possible.”

He thanks the sponsors, donors and volunteers who he says make it all possible.

He also thanks the fire, police and sheriff’s departments for being on hand, helping people carry out their bags and boxes of groceries.


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