INDIANAPOLIS— Thanksgiving came a bit early this year for children and families of the community at Bethel Community Outreach on Sunday.
This is the fourth year for the Thanksgiving meal provided by churches around the state of Indiana.
“The most we have ever served prior to today has been 100 people,” Justin Graves, co-director at Bethel Community Outreach, said. “Today we (will probably) serve 300; after the community comes in and eats, we will then box everything up and go door to door handing out the rest of the food.”
Bethel Community Outreach began in 2010 when Graves introduced himself to the community manager of Bethel Town Homes. She gave them the entire room to use for their outreach on Baltimore Ave.
While Justin Graves and Ty Huber (co-founder) were planning their ministry, they began speaking with the pastor at Nehemiah Project Church in Avon.
“The church had been looking to get involved with an outreach, and they came on board with us, and invited us into the Wesleyan central district,” Graves said.
On Sept. 19, 2010 Bethel Community Outreach had its very first service, and has continued to have a service every Sunday starting at 2 p.m. There is usually anywhere from 10 to 30 kids and a few women that come to the service, with hot dogs provided beforehand.
Huber and Graves met on a church disciple walk and became partners beginning the ministry, going around to churches and speaking to the congregation about their ministry.
“We felt like God had a vision for us to come in and do this, just from pulling into the neighborhood and cooking hot dogs, all of this has come from it,” Huber said.
The area the outreach is located in has high crime, but the outreach wants this place to be somewhere that the kids feel safe.