Local Non-Profit Partnering With Church To Give The Homeless A Thanksgiving Feast
A local woman is partnering with an Oklahoma City church to provide a Thanksgiving meal and a temporary home to those in need.
"Basically we had this big Christmas dinner and we had all these leftovers," said Whitney Bates, the founder of the non-profit Feed it Forward.
This was back in 2018. It was that Christmas night that she decided to package up the leftovers and find people who needed it more than herself. But the metro native said she wasn't expecting what she found.
"It wrecked my heart," Bates said through tears.
She saw people struggling and wanted to help beyond that first night's meal.
Bates started a GoFundMe, which spread on social media. In less than a month, Bates' fundraising developed into her full fledged non-profit.
Bates started packing dozens of meals just in her kitchen. She had volunteers pitch in to help cook and deliver the food to wherever there were people in need in OKC.
"We were growing rapidly, and I was like I need to be able to make more meals," said Bates.
So she reached out to churches and found Rev. Diana Davies and the First Unitarian Church.
"Doing good work, pursuing the common good is part of our mission statement," said Rev. Davies.
The congregation agreed to let Bates and her non-profit use their kitchen.
"Now instead of making 50 to 75 meals in my home I'm able to make 100 to 150 meals," said Bates.
This holiday season, the church decided to take their generosity a step farther.
"They always do a big Thanksgiving feast for their congregation, but this year they want me to invite the homeless," said Bates.
"Its really takes us from this really abstract idea of helping people to actually interacting with people," said Rev. Davies.
Together they are hoping to give anyone in need, at least temporarily, a place to call home.
Bates told News 9 she has everything she needs for Thanksgiving, but Christmas plans are still in the works.
She said she's always in need of volunteers and donations.
For more information on how you can help Feed It Forward, head to the non-profit's official Facebook page.