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Giving Thanks, Giving Back

THE TRIBUNE/JESSICA ST JAMES Seeing a need and deciding to help out Kelli Vanderpool-Lutz, Vicki Roach, Becky Miller and Sharon Eaches (pictured left to right) have cooked more than 70 meals to be delivered to area residents who would be going without this Thanksgiving.


Thanksgiving can be a difficult time of year for folks who have lost loved ones.

Where there was once a house full of relatives feasting on turkey, dressing and all the trimmings, now there is an empty house or apartment.

To help those who are alone on the holidays or not able to cook for themselves, two local business owners took it upon themselves to make sure those people have a Thanksgiving feast of their own.

Vicki Roach of Tea Party Treats and Sweets and Kelli Vanderpool-Lutz of Sweet and Sassy Treats teamed up to prepare homemade meals for shut-ins and those alone on Thanksgiving. Tuesday, the women, along with some volunteers, started cooking early in Roach’s kitchen, about 2 a.m., to ensure their feasts were ready for delivery Wednesday. Applebee’s donated boxes to transport the desserts.

By Tuesday afternoon, Roach said about 78 people had contacted the crew to get meals delivered to them.

Vanderpool-Lutz said folks from all over the county requested the meals of turkey, dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn and dessert, including seniors at Sherman Thompson Towers.

As much work as the women put into the project, Vanderpool-Lutz said the experience was fun.

“It’s fun because it’s girl time for me,” she said. “It’s not work as long as you have friends.”

Vanderpool-Lutz also said doing for others was a big motivation and helping those who are alone.

“You never know what life is going to hold,” she said. “It feels good to do things for other people.”

Becky Miller and Sharon Eaches agreed. The two women heard what Roach and Vanderpool-Lutz were organizing and joined in to help.

“That’s what we’re here for, to help each other,” Eaches said.

In Roach’s princess cottage for her party business on Ben Howell Road, she recently began construction on a cowboy cabin. She said she hopes to get it up and running for the Christmas season to host a dinner onsite for those who need it, as well as continue with deliveries.

“We want to do it once a month,” Roach said.

In January, Roach said they want to host a soup beans and cornbread dinner.