By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
Community members from babies to senior citizens shared a joyful time Monday during the annual Christmas Day meal hosted by Living Free Ministries and Alcorn Central High School.
People enjoyed a traditional Christmas meal as they gathered around tables adorned with flowers in the ACHS cafeteria.
Living Free also delivered several hundred meals to inmates at the Alcorn County jail and regional prison. Shane Parker, a Living Free volunteer, helped deliver meals to the inmates and knows what it is like to be in jail on Christmas. In the past, he was incarcerated two years in Alcorn County and knew many of the inmates he hand-delivered meals to this Christmas.
Parker said he knows it means a lot to the inmates to realize people on the outside are thinking about them and care. The food is good, too, he noted.
Craig Johnson, another Living Free volunteer, said it was special to personally hand the meals to the inmates, hug them and tell them he loved them.
“A lot of people” donated food and money to make the “big day” a huge success, said Tommy Wilson, founder of Living Free Ministries. The ACHS staff helped with decorations and other preparations. There were also clothes and supply bags with items such as shampoo and soap available.
Wilson’s wife, Marea, said volunteers arrived at the high school at 5:30 a.m. Christmas Day. About 50 volunteers helped, and having the use of the large ACHS kitchen was crucial to serving so many. An estimated 1,000 were served between the community meal and the inmate food deliveries.
Marea liked the fact that people from different walks of life gathered for the community meal. They included people down on their luck financially and those from better economic means. Others had no loved ones to spend Christmas with while some came with their families.
“That’s the whole thing—just being together,” Marea said.