Bright Beginnings Child Care is hosting its fourth Community Thanksgiving Dinner this weekend, with officials there planning to serve free meals to 1,000 people.

The event is free and open to any person, regardless of need, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (or until all of the food is given away) on Sunday, Nov. 11. Volunteers will start delivering meals at 11 a.m. 

The business’ co-owner Kimberly Bowling said the daycare gave away approximately 800 meals last year and decided to increase its goal to 1,000 this year. She and sister Ashley Bartley wanted to host an event like this before they opened the daycare.

“Me and my sister Ashley has always wanted to do something like this,” Bowling said. “Our first year that we decided to do it, we just thought, well, we have a place, why not do it? We always wanted to make a difference in our community and help out.”

Bright Beginnings was the first local organization to install a Blessing Box distribution center on its property, giving people in need easy access to food and other items. Bowling said donated items are quickly picked up there.

“People truly are suffering in this area. You hear about poverty and stuff like that in other places off from here, and it’s in your back yard,” she said. “It’s right next door and you may not even know it.” 

Bowling said that approximately 20 volunteers will prepare 30 turkeys, side dishes and desserts and they will also deliver meals on Sunday. She invites youth groups and community members who are interested in helping to donate food, drinks, rolls, desserts or their time to help host the event. Volunteer delivery drivers are also sought. 

“We’re pretty excited about it,” Bowling said. “It’s took a lot of work, but at the end of the day, all of it’s worth it. I had somebody asked me the other day, ‘Why do you do it?’ They’re like, ‘So many people, they just abuse that and use it.’ This is what I said to her, I said, ‘If there is one person that is in need that we help, that’s all that matters.’”

People who can’t travel to the daycare, located at 3122 South Lake Dr. in Prestonsburg, to pick up a meal can request delivery by calling the daycare at, (606) 886-3132, Bowling at, (606) 259-5859, or Bartley at, (606) 422-0455.

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