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‘Everybody’s been very inviting’: Murrells Inlet church makes sure no one is alone on Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 5:30 PM EST
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MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) – One Murrells Inlet church made it their mission to make sure no one is alone during Thanksgiving.

The Low Country Community Church, known as LC3, hosted its 14th Annual Project NOAH Thanksgiving Dinner. NOAH stands for No One Alone on the Holiday. The church encourages everyone in the community to come in for a Thanksgiving dinner.

“I’ve been here from the very beginning to this. It gets better every year,” volunteer Louise Goodman said. “The blessings we receive is just to watch the faces of our guests that come in and love on them because a lot of the people don’t feel that love.”

It was 14 years ago that LC3 served 300 people on Thanksgiving. But last year, over 100 volunteers helped to serve nearly 1,000 people.

Senior Pastor Steve Fairchild jumpstarted Project NOAH from his own experiences of being alone on the holiday.

“I traveled on the road. I was in the entertainment industry for a long time. And there were a couple of times where on Thanksgiving I was in a hotel room,” Fairchild remembered. “There was a family that invited me into their home for Thanksgiving and I made a vow that if I ever had the opportunity to give back and serve, I would do that.”

Eric Rutherford was one of the out-of-town visitors who was excited to be a part of something special.

“Everybody’s been very inviting. They’ve got a big setup, the tent, the food and everything is looking like it’s going to be a big deal, so I’m excited to have something special on the holidays,” Rutherford said.

The event is meant to reach anyone who is hungry, lonely or just doesn’t want to cook on their own. The cooking begins three days before the dinner, with preparation starting even months earlier. It’s then set up to create a fine dining experience with volunteers waiting on and serving guests.

But for some people, it means more than just serving a meal and sharing the holiday with others.

“When they started to show up, and a lot of older folks with their wheelchairs and walkers and things like it just brings a tear to your eye and you kind of feel like all the effort is well worth it,” said volunteer Rick Gibbins.

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