Alone and living in his car, Chris was looking for a fresh start after moving to Charleston, SC, when he learned about a Thanksgiving meal event at the North Charleston Dream Center. Rather than going to receive a meal, Chris decided he wanted to serve at the event.
“I had not had a Thanksgiving with people in many years,” Chris said. Even with all the unknowns of experiencing homelessness, and being in a new city, he found the courage to show up on Thanksgiving Day to prepare meals for others in need.
While serving, he began to face his own reality. “I was angry because I was hungry and experiencing homelessness, and here I was, with no place to go and serving food for others,” Chris said.
To fight against his inward focus, Chris began noticing the people serving around him. “I started paying attention to others, and then I noticed the lady next to me serving with joy. It was hard not to be joyful too,” Chris said. “It was just contagious.”
“I was angry because I was hungry and experiencing homelessness, and here I was, with no place to go and serving food for others.” – Chris
Seeing the joy and the heart of the people around him, Chris’s attitude changed.
“That day, after I finished my shift at the Dream Center, I drove around the city and saw many people in the streets eating from the same to-go boxes I helped put together that day,” Chris said. “I knew then, Seacoast and the Dream Center were for me. I wanted to be part of a church that met the needs of people.”
After two months of homelessness, Chris settled into Charleston, and has since opened up his own business, and has never missed a Dream Center Thanksgiving event since his first experience in 2016. Because of generous donations from the people of Seacoast Church, Chris was able to give of his time, but received so much more in return.
For thirteen years, donations of non-perishable food items, turkeys, potatoes, and monetary donations coming from Seacoast Church campuses have provided over 200,000 Thanksgiving meals to people in need within our communities.
If you would like to volunteer or provide donations for this impactful event, please visit seacoast.org/thanksgiving.