Community leaders give back ahead of Thanksgiving

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — With four days left until Thanksgiving, organizations around Texoma are continuing to make sure the community is well-fed for the holiday.

During its church service, Evangel Church leaders gave away turkeys and the Wichita Falls Police Officers Association handed out Thanksgiving baskets.

With the pandemic causing much strife throughout the community, officials from Evangel Church and the WFPOA said giving back means so much more this year than in past years.

Community members are packing up, heading out and feeding others for Thanksgiving.

“It’s the heart of our people, they love to serve,” Kile Bateman, Evangel Church senior pastor, said. “Our holiday ideas are not about what we can get, but what we can give. And it is truly more blessed to give than to receive.”

For these two groups, giving back is tradition.

“I think this year, it’s been a tough year for a lot of people,” John Spraguis, WFPOA president, said. “It even means more to us if we’re able to give back. To our community.”

Evangel Church has been holding its Turkey Day event for 19 years and for Bateman, Thanksgiving is a special holiday.

“I was raised by a single parent in a small town and Thanksgiving was one of those kind of times of uncertainty. And it would’ve been amazing back then if we would’ve known of a church that had done that so we could be together,” Bateman said. “That’s our goal. Is to make sure families are getting to be together especially this year.”

The Wichita Falls Police Officers Association has also been giving away thanksgiving baskets for years.

They want to give back to the community that has supported them through thick and thin.

“It’s been a rough year on law enforcement altogether and our local community has been outstanding and super supportive of their police department and law enforcement in general,” Spraguis said.

Whether it’s handing out just turkeys or turkeys with all the fixings, these local entities are making sure families have the happiest Thanksgiving possible.

Some of the volunteers helping the police officers association were off duty officers and members of the WFISD Parents as Teachers program.

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