FAIRFIELD — For those who came Monday to the Community United Methodist Church, a full belly was just one thing they left with.
As part of Mission Solano’s roving shelter program, the church hosts around 50 people once a month after they arrive by bus. Church members offer a meal and a place to sleep. In the mornings, the group is given breakfast and a sack lunch for the day. Monday’s meal was a Thanksgiving Day feast, complete with an ice cream sundae bar.
The church also gave out winter coats and scarves that were donated by members of the congregation and the public. The children also received books, donated by the church.
“Here we go, the last hoorah for the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Ron Thorpe, who was volunteered for 11 years. “More than a few times, they come up and thank us profusely. That’s worth it right there.”
Thorpe said about 125 coats were available Monday and those that weren’t selected would be given to Mission Solano and Heather House. The handmade scarves were a hot item. People grabbed them before slinging the knitted goods around their necks.
Cooking and dishing up the meals were several members of various chapters of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. David San Juan, the Junior Grand Warden with a group from Stockton, said his group was happy to help a good cause.
“It fits very well in the footprint of who we are and what we do. As the economy has gotten tight, so has the giving. That’s where we step in,” San Juan said. “I look at it more as a responsibility than a feel-good thing. It’s what we are supposed to do.”
One amenity the guests were extra fond of was the ice cream, something Community United Methodist Church has become well known for in the shelter circuit. Tom Patrick and two young helpers were busy scooping and decorating, even before some had grabbed a meal. He said Community United Methodist Church has come to be known as the “ice cream” church.
“Sometimes they come for dessert first. It’s apparently a treat they don’t get a lot,” Patrick said after grabbing some backup whipped cream. “We’ve even had bus drivers come in for some.”
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.