During the Thanksgiving holiday and it’s unoffcial successor Black Friday, Brenda Hinton-Jones believes that Wendell needs a community-centered alternative to Norman Rockwell suggestive Thanksgiving dinners or chain store discounts.
Not everyone can afford a feast on Thanksgiving Day, nor the time or resources to finagle mile-long lines for a new television set.
On Thanksgiving, Hinton-Jones, 47, and a dozen or so volunteers from area churches will put on a luncheon open to the community from 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 27 at the Wendell Women’s Club.
“There are lots of families in the area that aren’t having Thanksgiving dinner with people and I’m hoping to meet some of those families, and through my church, see what else can we do,” Hinton-Jones said.
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“I want people to understand that God has laid this on my heart and by God’s will it will be done and will serve God’s people... so that we can all come together to have a Thanksgiving,” she said.
This is the first year that she has hosted the dinner, but she hopes to continue next year with increased support from local churches and the town.
“My goal next year is to have 100 people,” she said.
For the past eight years, Hinton-Jones has worked as a life enrichment coordinator at the Oliver House and has advocated for seniors. She is actively working to provide more events for seniors in the town.
The following day, Hinton-Jones has organized her second annual Black Friday indoor yard sale for community members as a more affordable and more manageable option.
“The blessing of this is that you don’t have to go into Raleigh to shop, you can come into Wendell area and shop in your local area,” she said. The rain-or-shine event is a less crowded, more relaxed and affordable option for the community to get out during the sale day.
Vendors will sell at the Wendell Women’s Club from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 28.
Vendors will sell inexpensively, with many prices under $5 for items like purses, wallets, shoes and other yard sale items in good condition, said Hinton-Jones.
Last year, about eight vendors sold items as an economic alternative to larger stores.
“This is for the community – to give back. These are blessings to show our community that we love them and we are caring for them,” Hinton-Jones said.
The Wendell Women’s Club is located at 10 S. Cypress St. in Wendell. To donate food for the dinner, secure a vendor’s table at the sale or learn more about the events, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-592-2669.