Houlka preps for holiday events

CJ-0923-HOULKA-Tower-2CHOULKA – Hundreds will be fed Thanksgiving and hundreds of gifts will be sold for Christmas at two closely linked events in Houlka this holiday season.

The Houlka Community Thanksgiving will see more than 500 meals prepared for needy families, the elderly, county inmates and law enforcement officers on Thanksgiving Day. This will be backed up by the annual Houlka Christmas Bazaar that will raise money for Houlka Helping Hands the first weekend in December.

“We need volunteers and donations for the Community Thanksgiving,” said Jo Cross, coordinator for both events. “We also need people to start contacting us about getting a booth at the Christmas Bazaar.”

The Houlka Community Thanksgiving will see the community gather at the Houlka Community Center to cook turkey, ham, dressing, corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, rolls and desert on the day before Thanksgiving.

“We try to time it so everything is cooked and ready for delivery at noon,” said Cross. “We’ve been doing this for about five or six years and most of our cooks have gotten pretty good at it.”

Cross said anyone who might not get a Thanksgiving dinner is urged to come by the Community Center and pick up a plate. Volunteers will fan out across the community to deliver meals.

“If they need a meal delivered, they need to call us and get on our list,” said Cross. “I don’t want anyone to do without, but we can’t carry meals all over the county and we try to stay around Houlka.”

Volunteers ran out of food last year and estimated more than 300 meals were delivered to the elderly and needy and an additional 100 were delivered to the Chickasaw County Jail for inmates and law enforcement personnel.

The Christmas Bazaar is set for Dec. 5, 6 and 7 at the Community Center with booths sold to local vendors who will be selling toys, Christmas decorations, clothes, arts and crafts and good things to eat.

“We sell tables for $10 each and turn around and use every penny for Houlka Helping Hands,” said Cross. “This is our major fundraiser and we couldn’t do all we do for the community without it.”

Houlka Helping Hands hosts the Thanksgiving Dinner and the Easter Egg Hunt. The organization also helps with other community projects and needs.

“I know people who come and buy a large part of Christmas at this event,” said Cross. “People sell everything from homemade soap and quilts to cakes and all kinds of Christmas decorations.”

Cross said this is the fourth year for the Christmas Bazaar.

Cross said anyone wanting to reserve a booth can call Janie Tutor at Houlka City Hall at 568-2746 or Cross at 568-2431.

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