Volunteers serve Thanksgiving meals to Morgan Co. inmates

WAAY 31 went to the holiday feast and learned what it means to both the inmates and the volunteers who helped cook and serve the food.

Posted: Nov 22, 2018 7:03 PM
Updated: Nov 23, 2018 9:45 AM

A group of inmates in Morgan County got to leave the jail for a Thanksgiving meal prepared by hundreds of volunteers.

The 15th annual thanksgiving gathering happened at Austinville United Methodist Church on Lamar Street in Decatur.

WAAY 31 went to the holiday feast and learned what it means to both the inmates and the volunteers who helped cook and serve the food.

“The boys back at the jail are eating bologna, so it’s a much, much better scenario," said Brian Patterson.

That was Patterson’s response when we asked him what he thought about his Thanksgiving lunch.

Patterson is part of a select group of inmates who were allowed to leave the Morgan County jail on Thanksgiving to eat a meal prepared for them by volunteers.

“The fact that someone would take the time and the effort to fix a delicious meal for me and not know who I am, fellowship with me, pray with me, it builds me up spiritually," Patterson said.

And that's exactly what the volunteers were hoping for. They told WAAY 31 they’re just grateful they have the opportunity to give.

“That’s what it’s all about: giving thanks for being able to serve," Richard Cassis said.

This is the 15th year the group of volunteers has made a Thanksgiving meal for Morgan County inmates, and when we asked Cassis why they keep doing it, he said the answer was simple.

“It brings Christians together to do Christian things," he said. " People who have that desire to help their fellow person.”

The event is something Patterson says he’s very grateful for on this day of thanks.

“Lets us know that we’re not all lost causes," he said. "Everybody needs to be together with somebody on Thanksgiving.”

Both Patterson and Cassis told WAAY 31 they hope the event is a tradition that will continue for many years to come.

The group of volunteers also delivered more than 1,000 Thanksgiving meals to other inmates at the jail, Meals on Wheels recipients, and the homeless.

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