Just about a year ago, for several days, a lady who feeds people she knows every Sunday at her home, who makes a living running a day care center, could barely sleep.
"God laid it on my heart to feed the hungry," Mary Roseborough said.
But Roseborough didn't know how to feed the hungry. She didn't know exactly where to find the hungry. She didn't know where she would get the food for the hungry.
But she was told by God, she said, so she figured it out.
Roseborough went to her church, Foundation AME Zion on Neely Store Road, and talked to the pastor, Malcolm Taylor. Great idea, Taylor said. She asked the trustees of the church, who also said it was a great idea.
She called the Rev. Ronal King, who has fed the hungry in Rock Hill for more than 30 years with his Feed The Hungry Ministries, to ask for guidance to find the people she should feed. King knows how to find the hungry, that's for sure.
Then, she started asking merchants, people she knew and people she didn't know. In days, she had turkeys, hams, sweet potatoes and more -- all the stuff she would need for a huge meal. She received toys, clothes and shoes.
Volunteers agreed to cook. Men from the church joined in to deliver food to those who are hungry and homebound. Other men jumped in to get the others who could come and eat.
"The church came together to make this a success," is how Taylor put it. "Our mission is to serve people. All people."
In the church news section of this newspaper, in just two sentences, the church announced this meal to be held two days before Christmas last year.
On that Saturday, more than 300 people were fed. To the poorest areas of Rock Hill, church people delivered meals. And at the end of that afternoon, at the church as the sun began to set, there were even more people who had heard about this wonder and wanted to eat.
Taylor, a pastor with a fire in his eye for the people of his church to "move outside our comfortable pews" as he put it, called it an "eye opener" for all.
"The hungry, they are among us, and we must help," Taylor said. "It touched me that day. I knew the need was there, but even I didn't know the need was so great."
At the church that day, one little girl about 6 or 7 years old barely touched her food. Roseborough, who cares for other people's children to make a living, of course spoke to this little girl. Nobody around Mary Roseborough is allowed to leave hungry.
"This little girl, I looked down, and I saw she didn't have any socks on," Roseborough said. "She didn't have on any socks because she didn't have any socks. None. And then, she whispered to me she wanted socks for Christmas because her feet were so cold."
Mary Roseborough found that girl some socks.
That afternoon, Mary Roseborough and more knew there would be another feed the hungry event at Foundation AME Zion Church before Christmas this year.
The next day at church, Taylor the preacher said he told his flock, "We have made God smile. But we are not done."
So Roseborough and the army of volunteers started a few weeks ago sending out information to vendors. They have received some stuff they need, but still need more food, toys, clothes, shoes and money.
The date this year is Saturday, Dec. 22.
"Anything we get, someone in need will get it that day," Roseborough said. "Isn't that the spirit of Christmas? To give what you have? Even socks?"
It is, Mary Roseborough. It is.
Call Mary Roseborough at 329-2643 or Foundation AME Zion Church between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays at 329-4343.
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