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The Saga of Unwanted Food Gifts

A few weeks ago, Melody decorated the box and placed it in the recreation hall here at DJs. Since then she has emptied it several times and now we have a large accumulation of staple food items.This afternoon Jerry is picking up enough bread and pastry for 25 families. People have placed envelopes of money in our box in the office, and Michael has collected several hundred dollars to buy turkeys. Melina has decorated the individual boxes and this evening we will all meet at the church to assemble them.

This is our first Thanksgiving at Christ Alive church here in Lake Havasu and we are preparing food baskets to give to needy families here in the area. We’re all set, well organized, everything at the ready–except for one glaring problem: We don’t know how to distribute our gifts.

When we first began planning this project, we had thought to take the baskets to neighborhoods around the church, randomly knock on doors and present the food. As we considered it further, we reckoned that some might be offended by this action. Our strategy then changed, and we contacted a social service agency, where we had a personal contact.

She was ecstatic about our program. She would not be allowed to give us a list of people, but we could go with her to deliver the baskets. That was fine with us. Then she called to say, “No, we could not go with her, but we could insert a church card and the special greeting we had planned.”

“That’s fine, also,” we agreed.

Then she called again. “I’m so sorry, but my superior has said that we can’t actually take any food, but we can deliver a letter or flyer that invites the families to pick up the baskets at the church.”

“That will work,” we said, and she came by the RV and picked up the material we had prepared. She called yesterday with the news that every one of her contacts and those of her colleague who was helping out were already connected with a food bank and could not be involved with our distribution. I’m not clear as to whether this is a regulation, or the people just don’t want to appear greedy.

Anyway–bottomline, as is said–we have this beautiful food ready to distribute, and we don’t know what to do with it. Any suggestions? If we don’t think of anything else, we will revert to plan one, and kindly and cautiously offer food to any neighbors we think may be in need. We do have a community service announcement in the newspaper that came out today saying that we will be at the church from 8:30 to 11:00 on Saturday to give away food. Maybe some will show from that.

Working perfectly, we believe, is our plan to give a turkey to every family who attends Christ Alive this Sunday. You’re all invited. Hop on a plane, but let me know, so I’ll be ready to pick you up at Havasu Regional airport. You should get a ticket for a thousand or two. Small sum to pay for such as you to worship with such as I on Thanksgiving Sunday.

Disclaimer edit: The turkey we give you on Sunday morning will be naked, wrapped up modestly in plastic though. Sorry if the picture led you to believe our presentation would be such. 🙂


My devotional blog is here.

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 83 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

12 replies on “The Saga of Unwanted Food Gifts”

Thank you for the suggestion, Beka.

We just came from the church where we assembled the 21 boxes we will be giving away. We have a short list of needy families and have thought of some other places to go. I’ll definitely post updates.


Sis Buxton
Not sure about your area but here in Orange County there are a lot of women recovery homes, they are different from women shelter’s. Most of the women are in recovery and are not in contact with there families. It is a great blessing when the receive food and can open there home to other women and children who are in the same situation as they are.
Cant wait for the update.


Well, you could pile everything in your motorhome and take them up to Crestline. Then give them out to your own poor up there. But, you would have to change the flyers to invite people to the church you go to there. Not such a good idea but Papa and I could use a dinner. Don’t think it would make the journey to MS. Ha!


Wonderful form of outreach! I am really surprised at the difficulties you are having. One thing though, God must have a plan. It’ll all come together. Your church has worked hard, it will not go unrewarded.
Can’t stay on the computer right now, but I’ll be thinking.


I kinda think you should stick with plan one although some people may be offended with the thought, there are some who may be thankful.

heres my flickr link:

Most of the people that went to Tulsa for the PEAk conference


Thank you, Mervi. Good ideas.

There might be a problem at the Salvation Army for we really want to put our church material in the box. We are not set on that, and certainly in order to distribute the food, we will remove our church related material. But not only are we wanting to bless those around us, we want to use this as an outreach for Christ Alive.


Sis. Buxton:
Two ideas, one would be the Salvation Army. Many times they have more needs than the do supplies for those needs. The second would be a women’s shelter. A shelter or and organization that works with battered women and their children.

God’s best on you and your;


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