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You can help neighbors in need have a Thanksgiving dinner

November 14, 2012 - Is your stomach starting to growl thinking of the turkey, yams, stuffing, and cranberry salad to come next week?

If you're like most families, you've probably already started to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday. Like the rest of our neighbors, food pantries around the region are getting ready for the big dinner, and here's how you can help.

Pastor Rochelle Beckemeyer of Lake Orion's Echo Christian Church said there are more families who need help putting dinner on the table than she's seen in a while. "Those that were in need are in even greater need it seems," she said

Each month, Echo Christian helps about 20 families with a bag of food. In addition to food, Beckemeyer said she's "found that there is a great need for personal care items." This includes basic toiletries like toilet paper, shampoo, body wash, and the like.

For Thanksgiving last year, Echo supplied over a dozen food boxes with all items needed to put together a Thanksgiving meal. Among the many wonderful ministries performed, Echo Christian functions as an emergency food bank for Love INC.

To help Echo Christian as they help others, you can contact Pastor Beckemeyer at Monetary donations are welcome as well, and they can be sent to

Sandy Weaver from Love INC said she sees the same level of need as in previous years. Though Love INC doesn't have a food pantry per se, they do coordinate a complimentary meal every night of the week at local churches.

"It's a good safe place for people to sit and have a meal and talk with others," Weaver said.

Love INC provides more than an evening meal, however. Love INC helps with other things like rent or utilities, and for those they can't help, they network with 22 churches to help meet the balance they can't fulfill.

If you'd like to take part, there are many ways you can assist Love INC. Clothing can be dropped off at St. Mary's in-The-Hills Episcopal Church at 2512 Joslyn Court.

Household items can be donated at Christ the King Church on W. Drahner in Oxford on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until noon.

Money is always needed, of course, so you can send an offering to P.O. Box 104 Lake Orion, MI 48361. For more information contact Weaver at 248-693-4357 or visit their website at

Another agency helping out locally is Remnant Project Ministries (RPM) of Lake Orion. Led by Reverends Patty and Dave Olsen, RPM feeds about 35 families a week. They provide about 2,000 to 2,500 pounds of food per week—literally a ton of food.

The cupboard is bare right now, said Patty Olsen. Her pantry provides dinner kits like sloppy joe mixes, hamburger helper, and taco dinners. In addition, RPM gives out shampoo, deodorants and other personal hygiene items.

To feed the homeless and infirm, she needs sugar, flour and other items for baking. Gravy, broths, soups, pudding and gelatin are welcome as are vegetables other than corn, beans, or peas.

Items can be donated to RPM every Tuesday at Community of Christ Church located on 531 E. Flint St. You can visit or call (248) 765-2233 for more information on how to help Ms. Olsen and those she ministers to. A box for donations is also located in the Lake Orion Review offices at 30 N. Broadway in Lake Orion.

Lake Orion and Oxford share more than just a township boundary and M-24. They are also the site of a beautiful partnership at Oxford/Orion FISH food pantry for years.

Located at 487 First Street in Oxford Township, FISH operates a food pantry from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Monday through Thursday. Right now, the pantry seeks Ramen noodles, beef stew, chili, breakfast cereal, peas, stuffing, boxed meals like hamburger helper, toilet paper, and peanut butter.

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