‘Mama D’s kids’ to provide Christmas meals for less fortunate

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A group of children held hands, bowed their heads and prayed.

The elderly lady in the bed they encircled smiled but mist filled her eyes. For her, the children’s visit must have been akin to a Christmas miracle.

The children were volunteers in Turkeys from Heaven, a local mission dedicated to providing Christmas meals for those less fortunate. The lady was bed ridden and the meal basket was greatly appreciated. Having children visit her and pray for her was a real Christmas blessing. Butts was sure of that.

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“The lady was so touched. She talked about how pretty and nice the children were. They received a blessing just as she did,” Butts said.

The idea for a local Turkeys from Heaven program originated with Kelly Sanders of Troy. She and friends organized the program four years ago. Each year, Butts has been mother hen for a group of children that delivers Turkeys from Heaven meals to those who could benefit from a holiday meal.

Butts started a tradition in connection with Turkeys from Heaven.

Since she “takes care” of Kelly and Stephen Sanders’ three daughters, she thought it would be a good idea to start a Turkeys from Heaven tradition that involved children.

“The idea was for the girls and some of their friends to spend the night together and get up early on the morning the meals were going to be delivered and bake brownies as desserts for the baskets,” Butts said. “They all loved being in the kitchen, baking and having fun doing something for others.”

As much fun as baking brownies was, Butts said the  “icing on the brownies” was the delivery of the meals.

“What was so wonderful about the children delivering the meals was that not one of them stood back. Not one,” she said. “They all got out of the car and talked to the people. It was amazing how open these children were. I was impressed.”

House after house, the group of children walked right up and talked to the residents like they had known them all their lives.

“We never got in a hurry,” Butts said. “It was like we were there to visit as much as to deliver the Christmas meals. The children were not in a rush. At some of the houses, we stayed 15 minutes or more. They were interacting with people they didn’t know. They were sharing Christmas with them and it was such a wonderful thing to see.”

Butts said Turkeys from Heaven is good life experience for children.

“I was born in the Northwest and moved to Troy 15 years ago and volunteered with Hospice,” she said. “Volunteering brought me a lot of joy and the children that volunteer with Turkeys from Heaven are learning, at an early age, the rewards that come from helping others.”

Butts and a bunch of kids will be up early on the morning of December 22 to bake brownies for the Turkeys from Heaven meal baskets. And, “Mama D” has something new in her apron pocket. This year, the young bakers will ice the brownies and decorate them with sprinkles the colors of Christmas – a little extra bit of love.

But the best part of the day will be when they load the car to deliver Turkeys from Heaven meals and do so with love and caring and in the spirit of Christmas.

Editor’s note: Those who would like to donate a turkey for the meal baskets may do so by purchasing a turkey at the Piggly Wiggly stores in Troy. The turkeys are $15 and will be kept at the grocery markets for pickup by the grill masters who will do the cooking honors on December 22.

For other volunteer opportunities with Turkeys from Heaven in Troy, call 334-770-0428.