Grifton Mission Ministries: Giving with hands and hearts

Grifton Mission Ministries: Giving with hands and hearts

Billy Tarlton organizes the serving line as the Grifton Mission Ministries prepared for a Christmas Eve of giving. Photo by Vicki Kennedy.

GRIFTON | Christmas Eve morning brought out 23 volunteers at the Grifton Mission Ministries on Highland Avenue in Grifton. Their mission? To cook and serve hot meals, package donated groceries, and organize bags of Christmas presents. From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., these “elves” did Santa proud, directing cars through a drive-through line and filling each one with food and gifts. 

The workers came from all walks of life, from a 4th grade student to retired teachers and a former UPS delivery driver. They all took their inspiration from Billy Tarlton, the driving force of Grifton Mission Ministries, which is headquartered in the former Cox Trailer factory on Highland Ave.

Tarlton networks with grocery stores to accept bread products and shelf goods that have to be moved to make way for newer “sell by” dates. And he accepts donated household items, re-selling them at his huge yard sale warehouse across Highland Ave. and using the proceeds to fund his work. 

Tarlton, who also serves as pastor at a weekly non-denominational worship service held in the former Bethel Christian Church on Hwy. 11, brings the Christmas spirit of giving to every day of the year. This Christmas Eve, he and his helpers shared bounty of goodwill, bringing a little extra peace on earth to the Grifton community.

Volunteers help load cars with bags of Christmas gifts and donated groceries. Photo by Vicki Kennedy.

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