Collins Home Thanksgiving Celebration 2022

November 17, 2022

Thanksgiving Celebration 2022 for the residents at the Collins Veterans Home.
We were greeted by volunteer Debbie Matthews who was standing at the front door making the large sunflower arrangements that adorned the entrance of the Civic Center in Collins, MS. Debbie had spent two weeks preparing for this event. She reached out to her community and they were generous in their donations. They donated the locally grown sunflowers and Ms Debbie spent a day picking them from the field. A local egg merchant donated 15O fresh eggs that Ms. Debbie and her sister made into deviled eggs. She collected 32 cans of vegetables and a cash donation of $100.00.

I can’t express how grateful we are that Ms. Debbie is a volunteer for Veterans OutReach. She doesn’t stop at collecting, she takes those donations and creates beautiful and tasty offerings for our veterans.

The beautiful fresh sunflowers greeted our guests and the flower arrangements that smiled from the tables brought joy to everyone in the building. Ms. Debbie made fresh centerpieces from the field to the table. What a beautiful celebration.

We have so many people who donated generously of their time and talent to make this event a success.

Let me start by saying thank you to Ms. Tommie Carr for organizing with the other administrators to provide transportation for our veterans. Thank you Tade’ Ward and Piccolar Johnson for your assistance with the buses and the drivers who transported our guests.

We are grateful for the staff of Collins for aiding our veterans throughout the day. It was heartwarming to see the nurses and aids making sure each veteran was properly cared for. The Collins Home administrators Gayle, Sara, Tiffany, and Justin were working in the kitchen and transporting the food. Mr. Farmer and Mr. Register were assisting Pate and Don setting up tables and cleaning.

Veteran OutReach’s President Don Hartness and his wonderful wife, Jerrie Lynn Hartness, worked tirelessly in their kitchen. Ms.Jerrie baked and decorated our beautiful Thanksgiving cake and prepared 10 large pans of vegetables and casseroles. Ms Jerrie was kitchen manager of our event.
Ms. Kim Crosby Ashton and Dr. Monica Webber prepared seven pans of dressing. Monica and Pate Thaggard were busy decorating the tables and making sure everything flowed smoothly.

Ms. Ruby Ainsworth was our hostess for the day as she visited the tables to make sure everyone had what they needed. Representative Noah Sanford came by to visit and check on our veterans. We are proud that he keeps a watchful eye out for our veteran veterans.

Mr. Johnny and the Collins Home staff pulled the pork and prepared a sugarless dessert and the yummy vegetables that were donated and delivered by Mr. Carl Boyanton.

We are grateful for Mr. Robert Bryant and the Piggly Wiggly staff of Seminary who always give us the very best pricing on our turkeys and hams. Mr. Kevin in the meat market rearranged his schedule to cook fifty pounds of ham, nine turkeys and a 97 pound pig that was transported from Wayne Lee’s Grocery in Lucedale by Mr. Tim Crosby. Thank you Mr. Kevin for being such a blessing to our Veterans.

A very special thank you to our hospice partners from St. Joseph’s and Gentiva who bathed and dressed our veterans for their special day. Thank you St. Joseph’s for manning the dessert and drink station.

To our partners at Gentiva Hospice who have also joined our board, thank you so much for the drinks, the extra gravy, and the cranberry sauce. Chuck McRaney, thank you for saving the day, as we needed, you provided. A big thank you to the Pastors John Cockrell and David Grayson for blessing our food and visiting with our guests in full gospel form. Thank you Britney Ross and Mr Tim King for all your support to Veterans OutReach.

My heart was over joyed when the Southern Miss Ladies Golf team showed up to plate the food and serve our Veterans. Thank you so much. Thank you to the James Clark Family who reached out to their community and the Evergreen Baptist Church that donated five hundred dollars to pay for the meat. Thank you Zetta and Bo for serving our veterans. I love Bo’s spirit (Bo continues to serve as a faithful member even though he is in stage four Kidney failure). You’re in our prayers Bo.

It was a wonderful day. I would like to wrap this post up by thanking Mayor Hope Jones and the City of Collins for allowing the Veterans OutReach to use the Civic Center for our veterans and their families. With the cafeteria being under construction at the Collins Veterans Home, this event would not have been possible without a venue. We would also like to thank Senator Joey Fillingane for his assistance and friendship to our veterans. God bless everyone who donated their time and energy for this event.

Special prayer request for our Secretary/Treasurer Kim Ashton who was accidentally ran over as she was loading her car for this event and thank you to her children Sara and Chris, who volunteered in their Mother’s absence.

Post by: Holly Scanlon, Veterans OutReach Board of Directors, Vice President