Tricounty Family Services dishes up dinner to hundreds

By Gregory Woods

CHARLESTON, S. C. (WCIV) --{}Over the years, Tricounty Family Ministries has served nearly 3 million meals to those in need in the Lowcountry. On Friday, they fed more than 1,000 more during their annual Christmas celebration.

For Hector Perez, a hot meal on the table isn't something he gets to enjoy every day.

So when he found out Tricounty Family Ministries was serving brunch to those less fortunate for their annual Christmas celebration, he wanted to be one of the first people in line at Cherokee Place United Methodist Church.

"I got here at 5:45 in the morning," said Perez, who is homeless.

Arriving at the crack of dawn got him near the front, but didn't make him the first person in line.

But for Perez, arriving early wasn't about being first in line; it was about making sure the food didn't run out before he had a chance to get something to eat.

After six hours of waiting, he finally got what he waited for.

"I'm glad that I received breakfast this morning," said Perez. "I'm very thankful for them allowing me to come to a place like this for Christmas."

Perez was just one of over 1,000 people the organization fed Friday.

"What we try to bring is joy," said Sue Hanshaw, the CEO of the organization.

Through 100 volunteers, the organization not only brought joy to the bellies of people like Perez, but also gave away toys, clothes and food to take home.

"These people here are taking out their time from their family to look out for poor people like me," said Malcolm Brown, another who attended. "So I bless and thank them especially being that I am handicap."

The event lasted until everyone was served. Perez left with new clothes and food to last him for a few days.

"I'm thankful, that's all I can say is I'm thankful," he said.

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