Local church aims to bring Thanksgiving dinner to others

Donate food to CityEdge Church to help make baskets possible

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published October 9, 2012


HAZEL PARK — Not everyone is fortunate enough to have food to put on their table at Thanksgiving, but those who are thankful for what they have and want to share can help CityEdge Church as it assembles baskets for delivery to the needy next month.

The church is currently in the process of collecting the necessary ingredients, starting with the dry foods. This is the second year they’ve done this.

The whole endeavor started last fall when Pastor Craig Brundage and Lyle Hayman, co-founders of CityEdge Church, were talking to Barbara Scott, Hazel Park’s recreation coordinator, about ways they could help out in the city.

“We got the idea to put together baskets for people, and we went from thinking we would do just a few to doing 12, and then 18,” Hayman said. “But it all started when we were talking to Barb Scott, getting a feel for some of the needs in the community. She’s the one who gave us direction as to where we could deliver these.”

The baskets included typical Thanksgiving fare — everything from turkey, dressing and stuffing to side dishes and desserts like pie. Each “basket” was actually several boxes, including one full of canned goods and another with perishable items like butter, bread and milk.

“We hope to add more perishable items this year that we would deliver fresh to the house,” Brundage said.

A number of the turkeys last year were donated by Hazel Park Methodist Church. Members of the church also helped CityEdge members prepare and deliver the baskets. Hazel Park Methodist also supplied a box of potatoes for each basket that went out. Other volunteers caught wind of the project by notices on Facebook and in emails.

Some of the recipients were senior citizens; others were families facing hard times. A number of them weren’t sure how to prepare the meals, so CityEdge included a sheet in each basket with recipe instructions on how to assemble Thanksgiving dinner.

This year, CityEdge wants to provide even more baskets for neighbors in need.

“Our goal is to double it,” Hayman said. “And if God brings us more food than 36 households, we’ll go beyond it.”

Hayman’s faith recalls the trust that helped CityEdge turn around the patio project at Hazel Park Memorial Library when unexpected costs made it look like a lost cause. Now the library has a brand-new patio outside its walls for the public to enjoy, thanks to the community coming together with CityEdge to make it happen.

The hope is the community will come forth to make these baskets a success, as well. What they need are food items, which can be dropped off inside the library, 123 E. Nine Mile, or at the recreation center, 620 W. Woodward Heights. 

Right now, they’re asking for dried food, including canned goods like beans and corn, cranberry sauce, soups like cream of mushroom and cream of chicken, and stuffing. About a week before Thanksgiving, they will start collecting the turkeys, bread, butter, onions, pie, Cool Whip toppings, and other fresh items. And then, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, they’ll collect the freshest items, such as milk and eggs.

The baskets will be put together Nov. 19 and Nov. 20 and delivered the same days. This way the recipients have time to look at the instruction sheets and learn how to prepare the meals.

“Sometimes those large turkeys take a full day or so just to defrost,” Brundage said. “This gives them some lead time.”

Anyone with access to printing services and/or who has skills in graphic design could also help CityEdge make spiffier instruction sheets this year.

People who want to donate food, canned items or money to be spent on food can give directly to CityEdge by calling the church if they don’t want to leave them at the library or recreation center. Either way, it all ends up at the church and in baskets bound for members of the community.

As for those in need themselves, forms are available at the library to fill out, should one wish to receive a basket.

CityEdge Church meets in the lower level of Hazel Park Methodist at 315 E. Nine Mile, across the street from the library, at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday nights. Their motto is, “No perfect people allowed.”

The church was founded last April when members started having Bible studies in Hayman’s backyard. Last September, they started meeting at the Methodist church.

CityEdge is a nondenominational Christian community, an outreach church focused on serving others. They’ve been painting playground equipment in city parks and also renovated the game room in the recreation center. They facilitate a teen drop-in there every fourth Friday of the month.

Brundage said these baskets, like the patio project, are one way to show they care.

“We see a need that is more and more. We don’t know how much it’s growing now, but certainly with the economy and the downturn, it’s not only low-income individuals and seniors, but families as well,” Brundage said. “We want to jump in and help people as much as we can. We want to be the love of God in the community, meeting the needs people have, and this is just one way to do that.”

Hayman agreed.

“Jesus spent time at the well, at the riverside, in people’s homes, and we want to make sure we’re right there with him,” Hayman said. “He modeled it for us, and this is what we’re supposed to be doing.”

CityEdge Church meets in the lower level of the Methodist church at 315 E. Nine Mile at 6:30 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call (248) 765-4361 or visit www.thecityedge.org.

Food donations can also be dropped off at Hazel Park Memorial Library, 123 E. Nine Mile, or the Hazel Park Recreation Center, 620 W. Woodward Heights.

Those in need who would like to receive a basket can fill out forms at the library.