The Gift That Keeps on Giving: Chipola Family Ministries Turkey Drive

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Marianna- Five years ago, Shelby Mosley had a stroke. Doctors never expected her to walk or talk again. Now, she can do both.

"I've lived in my truck, to a tin building- a storage building. But baby, I'm in a trailer now" Mosley said of her current situation. "I'm still unable to work because of my condition, but I help others. I clean houses, iron clothes- I'm not too proud to do anything."

And she was not too proud to accept help when it was offered. Mosley has been making weekly trips to Chipola Family Ministries' food bank.

"I'm so thankful for [Chipola Family Ministries]. They don't have to open their doors to us" she said.

Faculty members told us more familiar faces were finding themselves at their doorstep, needing food more than ever before.

"They may have had things that they don't have today. Maybe two or three years ago they wouldn't need to come in here and get assistance- get food and get clothes" explained volunteer, Andrea Hover.

"I don't want to say it's the norm, but it's getting close to" said Chipola Family Ministries Director, Fred Cook. "We have more and more people come in and say, 'I used to donate here and now I need help.'"

And the need has always increased during the holiday season. For the past two years, the ministry has been giving the families they serve a turkey for the holidays. But, the demand has continued to grow.

"In the last 12 months, we've had an increase of 52 families per month- that's new families per month. The year before that it was only 34 new families per month" Cook told us.

This year, Cook said he wanted to meet the higher demand.
"We're asking each church family to donate a turkey, or send us $15 and I will buy the turkeys" he explained.

The goal was set at 519 turkeys, something Cook said he believed was reachable. "The people of Jackson County really care. They just need to know what the need is."

The group plans to hand-out the turkeys from November 13- December 13. Cook said the best ways to help the mission were to: donate a turkey, donate food, host a food drive, or sign up to volunteer.

For more information contact:
Fred Cook
Chipola Family Ministries
3004 Hwy 71 N
Marianna, FL 32446
(850) 482- 6407

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