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Local Lodges Join Forces to Brighten the Holidays

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By Anthony Taylor

Celebrating the gift of giving this Christmas season the Fraternal Feeding coalition-headed by Hayward Robinson of Prince Hall Lodge #7-provided the community with  Christmas meals, blankets, clothing and Christmas gifts such as bikes, various toys, and heavy coats, for the upcoming winter.

The coalition composed of St. Andrews Lodge #16, Mt. Olive #71, Prince Hall #7, American Legion Post #710, and Arrowhead Elks Lodge #896, got together and held the event at the St. Andrews #16, & Mt. Olive #71 Lodge Hall located at 1034 W. 8th St. San Bernardino, CA on Dec. 24, 2007 from 11 am - 3 pm.

Job Corp volunteer Jim Belmin serves the needy.
The event attracted local business owners such as Hair Dynasty Beauty Salon (owners: Tyheshia Taylor & Carolyn Davis) who generously donate their time and resources for the cause, also Haven Fair of The Inland Empire Job Corps. brought out a group of Job Corps. trainees who also participated by donating much needed manpower for the cause.

Food was delivered to the following locations: D and 16th street (The Vista Center) 3rd and Sierra Way (Meadowbrook Park), 5th and Sierra Way (Mill Community Center), and 5th and "H" St., which are areas often frequented by some of our challenged community residents. Consistent with his calling, Frank Washington III (St. Andrews #16 and current president of the San Bernardino Black Cultural Foundation) led the food delivery drive to the community residents.   

Patton State Hospital pitched in to cook the food provided by the feeding coalition, and in exchange coalition members cleaned their kitchen and washed the dishes. Past Black Rose Award recipient Johnny McKay (Mt. Olive Lodge #71), with the Toys for Tots organization, coordinated the gathering and donating of toys, which were handed out to children by Feeding Coalition Pres. Hayward Robinson.

Volunteers sort, fold, and hang donated clothes.

Smiles were all around as the delicious smell of the food made all who attended thankful. And while sharing gifts was the order of the day, community residents also enjoyed an abundance of homemade dishes that included: meats, breads, candied yams, mashed potatoes & gravy, as well as a variety of desserts. Homemade dishes were prepared by Jesse Green (Prince Hall #17), Saundra Moss  (Amer. Leg. Aux. Unit #710) and served by many wonderful volunteers like: Gerry Johnson and Cynthia Williamson (Arrowhead Elks & Legion unit #710).  For the sick and shut-in,  Carl Deon  (St. Andrews Lodge #16) and  Mecca Johnson (Mount Olive Lodge#71) went out and delivered meals and gifts.

Lloyd Smith and his son hand out dinners to the needy at “D” and 16th Street.
The festivities brought out many participants in the community, from young little Lauryn Taylor (9 years old), to wise Darryl Williams (St. Andrew's Lodge #16) who spends his birthday every year for the event. Some dropped by to show support, and others volunteered their time and service for the event. Also, all the way from Arizona one of the founders of the Feeding Coalition, Bro. Doyle Washington (St. Andrew Lodge #16), stopped in to support and wish everyone well.

DJ Larry Jam also volunteered his time, and musical entertainment, that created a wonderful atmosphere which included soulful renditions of "Jingle Bells", "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire", and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer".

As the year comes to an end the Fraternal Feeding Coalition wants to say thank-you to all for staying rooted in the community. This collaborative effort was founded in 1991, and this year marks 16 years of holiday work in the community. With an eye toward the future let's look forward to continued years of service rooted in brotherly love and charity. What a great thing when local organizations join together to give back to the people here in the community with food, clothing and toys in a festive environment.

DJ Larry Jam keeps the party festive.

For more information on other events sponsored by the Fraternal Feeding Coalition, as well as ways you can contribute towards positively impacting your community, please contact the President of the Feeding Coalition-Bro. Hayward Robinson at (951) 415-7509.

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