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GIVING BACK: Griffin serves Thanksgiving meals to Brundidge residents

Brundidge Mayor Isabell Boyd said when the citizens of Brundidge are happy, she’s happy.

Boyd was happy on Tuesday.

More than 600 area residents were treated to Thanksgiving dinner, thanks to the generosity of Cornelius Griffin and family and the longtime support of Jerusalem Temple, a host of volunteers and members of the Brundidge Rotary Club.

“When you see a room filled with smiles and happy faces, you realize how much it means to so many people to be remembered at Thanksgiving,” Boyd said. “Thinking of others and thanking God for his goodness is the real reason for this Thanksgiving season. The Brundidge community is very appreciative of what Cornelius and his family do for others at Thanksgiving. It means a lot to know that someone cares.”

For 16 years, Griffin, Brundidge native and a retired member of the National Football League, has been the host for the Thanksgiving dinner for the elderly and homebound members of the Brundidge community.

“Brundidge is my home and the community supported me and encouraged me throughout my childhood and my football career,” he said. “I wanted to do something to give back to those that have given so much to me. Thanksgiving is the time to give thanks for all that we have and among the many things I have to be thankful for are the people of my hometown.”

Each year, Griffin and his wife, Kimberly, provide the hams and turkeys for the community-wide thanksgiving dinner. His mom, Martha Griffin, her church members and volunteers add the trimmings.

“We couldn’t do this alone,” Martha Griffin said, mentioning that Robert Boyd gets the Thanksgiving day dinner “in the ground” in time for the harvest.

“Robert plants the turnips, collards and sweet potatoes for the dinner and volunteers harvest and cook them along with the dressing, rice and everything else that makes a Thanksgiving meal,” Martha Griffin said.

This year was even more meaningful because members of the Griffin family came from as far away as the Flint, Michigan area to be a part of the celebration of community.
“We also have family here from Mississippi and Tuscaloosa,” Griffin said. “They have enjoyed being a part of the community Thanksgiving.”

Preparing and serving a holiday meal is a lot of tiring work but Griffin said she looks forward to it every year.

“This is therapy for me. It’s good to do something for others,” she said. “We get calls and cards from people saying how much they appreciated being thought of and we appreciate their thoughtfulness. We look forward to doing the dinner again next Thanksgiving. It’s good to come together like this. It’s a blessing for all of us.”
Rotarian Carol Dorrill said the community Thanksgiving meal means a lot to those who remembered but it could also have far reaching effects.

Because it is truly more blessed to give than to receive, Dorrill said those who are a part of the giving and the receiving surely must take notice of that.

“We all see how much it means to give and to receive and that is encouragement for each of us to reach out to others at Thanksgiving and all year long,” she said.