Elevate Church, OP Mall offering Thanksgiving dinners

Residents can pick up box of food at drive-thru on Saturday

By Bruce Hope bruce@opcfla.com
Posted 11/18/20

ORANGE PARK – In conjunction with Orange Park Mall, Elevate Life Church of Fleming Island wants to do its part to help those in need during this holiday season.

On Saturday, Nov. 21, there will …

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Elevate Church, OP Mall offering Thanksgiving dinners

Residents can pick up box of food at drive-thru on Saturday

Posted

ORANGE PARK – In conjunction with Orange Park Mall, Elevate Life Church of Fleming Island wants to do its part to help those in need during this holiday season.

On Saturday, Nov. 21, there will be a drive-through Thanksgiving event at the mall, where residents will receive a bag of sides for a Thanksgiving dinner along with a $10 gift card to purchase a turkey.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a shutdown that cost many jobs, some which may not return. As a result, more families than normal face economic hardships. One of those hardships is making sure that there is enough to eat.

“The drive-ins have been very popular with Elevate Life Church,” said Chelsea Commodari, Marketing Director of Orange Park Mall. “So far, we’ve done a food pantry drive-through, and then we did a back giveaway for back to school where they gave away about 2,000 backpacks, so we just wanted to see how we could keep working with them to bless the community.

“They had mentioned this [Thanksgiving drive-through] to us at the backpack giveaway, and we were, of course, willing to do whatever we could do to help, so we sponsored the event and partnered with the Clay County Chamber who also helped sponsor the event.”

Orange Park Mall is providing some of the money for the turkeys. However, it wasn’t easy to work with local grocers to get enough turkeys to give away. That was when it was decided to provide the $10 gift cards instead so that each family could purchase their turkey.

“For our Thanksgiving Turkey Drive, this is our first official one in quite a bit,” said Joyce Ormeo, the Connections Director at Elevate Life. “We decided to do the drive-by at the mall because then it would keep the flow moving, and we could potentially keep people as safe as we could. We decided that this year we would love to be able to bless the community once again, this time Thanksgiving style.”

Elevate life is currently estimating that they will be able to help between 500-600 families during this drive.

The drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or while supplies last. Drivers are asked to use the fire lane in front of the Food Court entrance at the mall, where they will receive their bag of sides and gift card.

“We’re just grateful that they [Elevate Life] came to us and allowed us to be a part of something so great for our community. They are incredible to work with. They’re organized. But at the end of the day, they don’t focus on being so organized, but rather how many people they can bless throughout the process. So just partnering with them and knowing that that’s the goal and being a part of that is a great feeling before, during, and after the event,” Commodari said.

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