AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- On Tuesday, T.W. Josey’s Class of 1994 hosts its 12th Annual Feed the Community Event.
This started as a way to help the less fortunate and evolved into something more. Shonta Bradley says it was put on her heart to do something to help her community. And she knew that turning to her high school classmates was the way to get the job done.
When asked, Bradley’s classmates eagerly joined her to give back to the community.
They organized a Feed the Community Thanksgiving meal for the homeless and families who couldn’t afford a holiday meal. Soon, it became an event for the whole community, with people stopping by on their lunch break to eat and enjoy time with one another.
The event is funded through donations from alumni and the community.
It’s a lot of work to prepare this meal every year for what Bradley said is thousands of people. It takes dozens of volunteers that include alumni, school staff, and even students to cook and serve the food every year.
“It really is a lot, but it is so worthwhile at the end to see the faces of the people. The feeling is just, you know, it’s speechless because it’s so rewarding to see the impact we’re making on the community,” said Bradley. “And I’m just so humbled that I’m the vessel to be able to follow the vision that God gave me.”
She said it means everything to her to be able to do this for her community.
“It’s very overwhelming. Because, I mean, I think we need more love in the community. It gives us the opportunity, and Lord I wish I could do it more often, but it gives us the opportunity to have smiles, to just show love. To hug some people. Just show them what the mission is, just to spread love.”
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, volunteers served hot plates full of Thanksgiving favorites and also gave out bags filled with toiletries and personal items.
Volunteers say they have a reason for doing this every year.
“Just to see someone smile because they are not fortunate to be able to cook a meal or have a meal at a table…or have a table to sit at,” said Alexander Morment, T..W. Josey High School’s Class of 1993.
Morment says this is his fifth year volunteering at the event.
Both Bradley and Morment say the event helps bring T.W. Josey classmates closer year after year.
“We still know that there’s a need,” said Bradley. “So, we’re going to keep doing it as long as we’re able to do it.”
Photojournalist: Will Baker.