Nov. 23—Thanksgiving is the time when families gather together and celebrate their blessings.
But for a Florida family, Thanksgiving is also a time to "pay it forward."
The Jansky family from Pensacola have a mission — to help others who may not have had the blessings that they have had.
The family is comprised of parents, Gordon and Linda, and their three sons and their families. Gordon and Linda and son Jeremy and family still reside in Pensacola. Their sons Tim and Matt Jansky and their families reside in Richmond, KY.
For the past several years, the family gathers together in Richmond for a family feast during the holiday season.
But two years ago, they heard from a Florida neighbor about the Community Thanksgiving dinner in London. Last year they volunteered to help prepare and serve food for the feast.
Dr. Tim Jansky, a professor at the Richmond campus of Eastern Kentucky University, said the family wanted to help with the dinner again this year.
"We all got together for Thanksgiving about three years ago and decided we wanted to do something mission-oriented for the holiday," he said. "A neighbor from Corbin has a cousin who lives in London and knew about the church doing the dinner. We volunteered to help last year and came back again this year."
Gordon and Linda Jansky also brought socks to distribute during the event, explaining that a friend of theirs in Pensacola grew up poor and often had to wear socks with holes in them. Ironically enough, that man — Ray McKnight — hails from London but now lives in Florida.
"He said he never wanted anyone to wear not have warm socks," Linda explained. "So he goes to outlet stores and gets socks to give out to people. We brought some with us for his mission."
For the Jansky family, the assistance with the annual dinner is a blessing that they can give back to people.
"Our mission is first, to love our neighbor as God commanded us to do," Tim said. "The other is to be a blessing to someone else. Our goal is to serve people. God has blessed us as a family and we want to be a blessing to others."