Giving to others is 'Thanksgiving amplified'

Nov. 24—Wiggins Community Center director Carol Bush said being able to serve others on Thanksgiving Day was "Thanksgiving amplified."

Her feelings were shared by dozens who volunteered to serve free Thanksgiving dinners Thursday at both the Wiggins and Carver community centers in Anniston.

Patricia Pickens, who was leading the efforts at Carver, said the expectation was to serve 150 meals by the time all was done.

"This really is a collaborative effort here at Carver with the city of Anniston as well as the Pot of Manna Masonic Lodge," Pickens said. "We've been doing this a long time here for a long time and are carrying on the tradition."

Pickens said there used to be a program diners could attend, but the pandemic stopped that at least for now.

"Our volunteers fix plates for them and they have the opportunity to sit here and eat or take it wherever they need to," Pickens said. "We have more than 20 volunteers working today and getting volunteers is never an issue."

"It is always good to be thankful and to share our blessings," Pickens said.

Bush said being a people person escalates her joy in being able to serve others.

"I'm honored to be a servant of God and I appreciate the opportunity to bless people in any way I can," Bush said.

The city also assists with the efforts at the Wiggins center, where Bush said District 1 County Commissioner Fred Wilson "comes in with a check every year for me to provide food."

While Wiggins had enough on hand to feed 75, Bush said everyone who wanted a meal would get one, "if I have to go out and cook it myself."

"I can't explain how important it is that we care for our people," Bush said.

Bush said her eagerness to serve comes from having been critically ill with COVID-19 in August of 2021.

"I caught COVID and pneumonia and was in the hospital for nine days," Bush said. "It damaged my heart and lungs and I was out of work until January. But when November came, I told the Lord I had to go feed these people."

Bush said she had to sit at a table to help last year and volunteers would bring her the items to fix the plates.

"God spared me," Bush said. "I had two friends that didn't make it from the exact same thing I had. That gave me even more energy to do everything for everybody that I can and I love it."

Bush said being able to serve others is her way of being thankful for her blessings.

"Serving others like this is Thanksgiving amplified," Bush said.