Tribune-Courier General Manager
For the past couple of weeks I’ve been doubling as a reporter around The Trib until we get our new staff member, Katherine Doty, onboard. In doing so I’ve received some blessings I didn’t expect.
Last Friday I had one of the best meals I’ve eaten in a long time at the most unlikely of places-a community kitchen. I had scheduled an interview with the volunteers at Marcella’s Kitchen at 11:45 and when I was invited to have lunch I took them up on the offer. I was pretty sure they weren’t taking no for an answer, anyway. The meal of fried chicken, green beans, corn on the cob, homegrown tomatoes and macaroni and cheese was delicious, but it fed far more than my hunger. When I left Marcella’s my belief in humankind was full to the brim as well.
Marcella Perkins and a small army of volunteers have, in two short months, created a place where people who otherwise might have gone hungry and lonely come for a hot meal and fellowship. They’ve grown from feeding 30 or so when they opened in May to now hosting 50 or more people on a daily basis.
The kitchen is a labor of love spearheaded by Perkins, a lady who has more compassion for her neighbor than most people can imagine. She’s driven by faith and supported by people from all over the county who believe in her mission. Grace Forte, one of Marcella’s volunteers, calls her the “ jumper cables” of the organization. She said whenever someone needs a boost, Marcella is there to give them a charge.
While Marcella’s is growing, they still need the help of the community. With hopes of finding a permanent location (they are temporarily using the facilities of the Draffenville Lions Club for their program), Marcella’s needs cash donations. They want to find a centralized facility along a main road in the near future.
Another volunteer need is someone to provide transportation services for residents of the south end of the county. Marcella said there are folks in the Hardin area whom she believes could be helped, but who can’t get to Draffenville. She’s hoping a church or civic group will come forward to fill this need.
Another of my blessings last week came in a conversation with Jason Kimbro and Tabitha Caldwell, the parents of six children who lost their home to fire on Wednesday afternoon. When I contacted Jason to set up an interview we exchanged the usual pleasantries and when he asked how I was doing my immediate response was, “Well, I’m sure I’m better than you.” Jason quickly corrected me by saying there was no way that was possible and went on to tell me how grateful he was for the support of the residents of Marshall County.
Jason, Tabitha and the children have been overwhelmed with donations from people they don’t even know who have heard of their tragedy and want to help. They say they have never been so touched by the generosity of others and know that because of it their family can make it through. They are filled not with concern for what lies ahead, but with deep gratitude and an overwhelming love of their community.
At a newspaper, we report stories about the best of people and the worst of people. It was my great blessing last week to share two of the positive stories from our community. There are many of those to be found and it’s just one of the reasons I’m so proud to call this home.