Trinity UMC shows how to GIVE


Special to the Advocate

Gulfport Trinity United Methodist Church has been selected as a co-recipient of the 2006 Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) Award for Faith Based Achievement in Volunteer Service.

The 14th Annual GIVE Awards ceremony was held April 21 in Jackson. The awards are presented by the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service, Gov. Haley Barbour and First Lady Marsha Barbour.

“In 2005, volunteers from across the state and the nation have made a tremendous impact on the lives of those they have served. These twelve recipients represent the very spirit of volunteerism in Mississippi...this is what neighbor helping neighbor is all about,” said Marsha Meeks Kelly, executive director of the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service.

When a church member asked permission from the Rev. Ray Stokes to cook food at the church for a few in the neighborhood who had lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, no one could have imagined the church would be feeding more than 2,500 daily by Labor Day.

The first meal came from food in the church member’s family freezers, the second day’s meal was donated by a school and every day thereafter food arrived from somewhere without anyone asking for it.

Trinity also became a distribution point for necessities such as food, soap, diapers, paper products and flood buckets full of cleaning items. Church members worked every day cleaning, cooking and collecting and delivering supplies to those in need.