12/12/17 — Mount Olive residents lend a 'Helping Hand'

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Mount Olive residents lend a 'Helping Hand'

By Joey Pitchford
Published in News on December 12, 2017 5:50 AM

News-Argus file photo

Lula Newkirk

Every year for over two decades, Lula Newkirk has brought a bit of Christmas joy to the people of Mount Olive, and this year is no different.

Newkirk, president of Helping Hands United Mission at 113 Smith St. in Mount Olive, will join with volunteers to distribute 150 holiday meals Thursday during the mission's annual Christmas food box giveaway.

Each box will contain a turkey and all of the trimmings, from stuffing, black beans and rice to green beans, fruit, sweet potatoes and more.

Sitting in a room with all 150 boxes placed in rows, Newkirk said that the food will go to people across Mount Olive and the surrounding area. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., those who registered for the boxes will be able to come pick them up at Helping Hands, except for a few who will have their meals delivered to them.

Newkirk said that the goal of the giveaway is simple -- feed the needy. Her daughter Renee Newkirk said that the season makes it all the more important.

"Especially during the holidays, there are so many who go without," Renee said. "To have a place that they know that they can come to, because we're not just here at Christmas, we're here throughout the year, so this is a place where those who need help with food can come and get packed boxes to eat."

The giveaway is supported by donors from the Mount Olive area. Mays Chapel Church, Mount Olive Presbyterian, AARP, the Men of FIC and Mount Olive Pickle Company have all pitched in to support the event, and Area Churches in Action donates much of the food itself.

Lula Newkirk said that she was thankful to the various donors and to God for allowing Helping Hands to continue aiding the community.

"We're surely thankful for the support from the community, and from God," she said. "There have been individuals as well, too many to name."

Helping Hands still needs volunteers to help distribute the boxes.

For more information or to volunteer, call Helping Hands at 919-221-0558.