Glenn and Teairra Ikens were up late Wednesday night preparing their own Thanksgiving dinner so that they could spend the morning, along with a dozen or so of their friends and family, cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the less fortunate at the soup kitchen at Christian Ministry of Lincoln County in Lincolnton.
The Ikens, who live in Lincolnton, have volunteered at the soup kitchen in the past and stepped up to the plate to cook on Thanksgiving Day.
“We dragged them all in here today,” Glenn Ikens said of the others working in the kitchen. “We figured we’d cover for the regular staff so they could have the day off for the holiday. This is the first time we’ve run the kitchen with our own group. We all wanted to do this for the community.”
The soup kitchen at Christian Ministry of Lincoln County serves upwards of 150 people every day of the week, according to Teena Sigmon, the soup kitchen coordinator.
“I’m so thankful for Glenn and Teairra for taking this on,” she said. “It just shows the hearts of those who are there who are celebrating their Thanksgiving by giving to others. I think that’s the best gift of all.”
The Ikens are expecting to serve at least that many people on Thanksgiving given it’s one of the few places serving a meal at no cost in Lincolnton.
“I’m ready to take it on,” Teairra Ikens said. “I’m the cook at a private preschool in Denver and we had our Thanksgiving feast two weeks ago and I served 200 people all by myself. I love it. After we leave here, we have an hour or two to get ready for friends and family to come over to our house and do the same thing all over again.”
Mike Faircloth, who volunteers at the soup kitchen on a regular basis, came in to help out the Ikens crew with the cooking. They were serving turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans and an assortment of pies and cakes for dessert.
Some of the food being served was donated by David VanDerwerken, on behalf of the Newton Elks Lodge #2042.
“I’m happy and grateful they gave us the opportunity to come in here and work,” Glenn Ikens said. “They were happy to have us in and volunteer. Christian Ministry does a lot of good work in the community with the soup kitchen, the food pantry, clothing and so much more.”