Alexander Temple Church of God in Christ in Great Falls is preparing once again to hand out baskets of Thanksgiving food to people in need. Its annual Thanksgiving Basket Drive-by Giveaway will be on Thursday, November 24, 2022, at 3726 Fifth Avenue North.
Pastor Marcus Collins explained, "This program originated in a leadership conference of our national church. One of our bishops was doing this in the Oakland Area, and he wanted to promote and share this program for our church nationally. He brought out baskets to everyone and we traveled back from Dallas, Texas to Great Falls with this idea, and it kind of evolved into this years later, and it's been phenomenal. It's been many families served and it's been a blessing."
On average, the church is able to give away more than 100 baskets to families that need it. This year, they aim to provide at least 115.
First Lady of the Church Antoinette Collins said the thing she enjoys the most from this annual program is the expressions on the families' faces, knowing that they are making a difference.
"It's exciting," she said. "Especially getting up every thanksgiving morning and putting basically yourself aside and coming out and be a blessing to others, and just to see the crowd and smiles on people's face and the "happy thanksgiving." It's always exciting."
Baskets are also provided to other entities, such as Opportunities Inc. who strive for the same mission in providing families a chance to have food on the table.
"I look at this venture as a complement to what already has been going on in this city," Marcus said. "The amazing agencies that are serving and helping, and so we found it to be an honor to be part of a solution for other agencies in the city."
Above all, the Collins' noted their faith in God plays a key role in helping others the best way they possibly can.
Marcus said, "Not only does religion play a role, our faith is the source of this. Jesus came to heal the sick, to raise the dead, give sight to the blinded eyes, and to feed people ... It's simply about meeting needs, and if you can impact someone's life in a small way, I think we met the cause of Christ."
Antoinette said the end goal is to know someone is taken well care of for the holidays.
"To know they are not forgotten," she said. "They too can have a full-course meal, especially at the expense for others, and that we are all part of the same family. We're all in it together."
The food distribution is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to noon, and is open to anyone in need.
For more information, call 406-452-8820.
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