There is something very special about Thanksgiving, don’t you agree? 

All through the year, we get so busy with work and life in general, and many of us don’t take the time, as we should, to be thankful for the blessings right in front of us. 

Thanksgiving offers us the chance to slow down a bit, gather the family together, reminisce, laugh, fellowship, and enjoy the bounty laid out on the dinner table. What memories many of us have of our families’ Thanksgiving celebrations! 

Sadly, all families can’t afford to have those lavish meals or get-togethers that many of us have or remember having in past years. 

Tipton County’s Episcopal churches set out to do something about that, choosing families associated with the Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse as the selected recipients. 

Ravenscroft Chapel, St. Matthew’s  and St. Paul’s worked together to provide 63 Thanksgiving blessings baskets, each basket containing a turkey, sugar, flour, corn meal, potatoes, cranberry sauce, yams, green beans, corn, macaroni and cheese, cake mix and frosting, spices for cooking, bread and rolls, butter, fruit, tea bags, hot chocolate, aluminum foil, Jello, foil pans in which to cook the turkey and even some candy for the children.

The idea was born during a July mission council meeting at Ravenscroft. 

“We are a congregation of only about 20 regular attendees, but we felt there was a need to help others at this holiday time. St. Matthew’s average attendance is not much more. In September, we invited the other Episcopal churches in the county to join us in this mission project,” said coordinator Richard Vandergrift.

A committee of six from Ravenscroft Chapel and St. Matthew’s met several times over a two-month period. Besides Vandergrift, others serving on the committee were Brenda Scott-Keuter and Mary Jo Lavelle from Ravenscroft Chapel, and Gayle Hartsfield, Sarah Sartain and Emmett Hartsfield from St. Matthew’s. 

Private donations provided every item on the list, and some donations were contributed from those who are not members of any of the participating churches. 

On Nov.13, members of Ravenscroft Chapel and St. Matthew’s gathered in the parish hall to fill the boxes and to offer up a prayer on each box, asking God to bless these families as they prepare their Thanksgiving dinners. 

Those boxes were then either delivered or picked up by those families. 

Just as the pilgrims and the Native Americans did at that first Thanksgiving, it is time to put aside all differences and give thanks for all that we are blessed with.

Echo Day is The Leader's managing editor. To contact her, call 901-476-7116 or email