Jesus House volunteers helped 400 families and homeless people on Friday get ready for Easter dinner.
“We've had a great turnout,” Jesus House Operations Manager Kevin Smith said during the Easter food basket giveaway. “We've done a little better than last year. We're giving out toys, food and fellowship.”
The Jesus House is a nondenominational outreach that provides shelter, food and clothing to the homeless and poverty stricken.
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, City Care, the Walmart on Belle Isle, local churches and individual volunteers donated food this year.
Paper bags decorated by children held frozen hams and turkeys, stuffing mix, chicken broth, gravy mix, instant mashed potatoes, canned vegetables, dessert mixes and canned fruit.
“Easter is one of our favorite holidays and it is a very big deal around here,” Executive Director Rick Denny said.
Tammy Foshee, 30, said she visited Jesus House for the first time on Friday.
“I called DHS and they gave me their number and address. This will give us food for Easter,” said the mother of three.
Foshee said she was laid off a couple of months ago and has been seeking financial assistance while she looks for a new job.
She is the sole provider for her family.
Harry Tucker, 60, a Jesus House resident and volunteer, said he knows what it's like to need help.
“I was homeless living out there without meals. I heard about this place and I decided to stop by for a meal one day. It's a good Christian atmosphere with good people who help you get back on your feet,” Tucker said.
Tucker, who said he grew up in and out of foster care, now volunteers as the warehouse supervisor and attends Bible studies at a nearby church.
The bags were decorated with drawings, stickers and Scripture passages and were created by children from Memorial Road Church of Christ in Edmond. Walmart provided candy and plastic Easter eggs for the food bags.
“I hope it's the little things they'll remember,” Smith said.