The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 28, 2013

Community helps feed local families

By Lora Scripps

— When an Athens woman set out with a plan of feeding a Limestone County family for Thanksgiving, she had no idea she would receive such an outpouring of support.

About two weeks ago, Amy Horton posted on her personal Facebook page that she would like to feed a family as a way to give back this holiday season. Afraid she wouldn’t be able to do it all by herself, she asked her Facebook friends if they would be willing to help.

The events that happened next shocked Horton.

Members of the Limestone County community and other friends from as far away as Alaska, started donating food and money.

On Wednesday, Horton had gathered enough Thanksgiving food and supplies for 56 families.

“We plan to do at least one more tonight,” Horton said Wednesday, adding the group of volunteers would cut off at 60 families.

The meals include turkey or ham, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, corn, rolls and frozen pies as well as paper plates, cups and napkins.

Horton has been preparing some of the meals herself. Others have been packaged and sent to families to cook. The meals Horton cooked include homemade dressing instead of stuffing. She said she has been cooking and preparing the dinners for more than two weeks.

She got a list of needy families first by calling counselors in the Limestone County school system and asking if they knew of any families that might need a little help this Thanksgiving. Other families were offered help by word-of-mouth from their friends on Horton’s Facebook page.

“There is no way that I could have done any of this if it hadn’t been for all the people who helped,” Horton said. “Half the people I don’t even know. They are just friends on Facebook.”

Horton said she is in “total shock” in what the group of volunteers has been able to accomplish.

“There are so many good people here,” she said. “Not just here, but people from places like Alaska, Georgia and Tennessee that don’t know any of us. They know their donations are staying here (in Limestone County), but they wanted to do something to help.”

Horton said she wants to thank everyone that has pitched in to help so many families.

“It is mind-blowing how generous everyone has been,” she said.

Horton said being able to help has been wonderful.

However, after cooking for two weeks, her plans for today include cooking up a sweet potato casserole and heading to her momma’s house.