Thanksgiving is a season when we take time to stop and give thanks for our many blessings.
While we recognize our families, friends, health and good fortune, we also should be thoughtful of those who are less fortunate.
This holiday season, Shepherd's Staff, a local nonprofit organization supported by a cooperative ministry of area churches, is doing its share for those in need.
With the help of many Carroll residents, the Westminster-based organization will be serving a Thanksgiving Day Harvest Meal from noon to 3 p.m. in the cafeteria of St. John's Catholic Church.
Virginia Stoner, who is coordinating the meal, said community response and support for the Harvest Meal has been overwhelming.
"It has really been something. Right now, we have over 130 volunteers who will be helping to prepare and serve the meal on Thanksgiving Day," Ms. Stoner said. "We have pledges from area businesses, grocery stores, restaurants and churches for all the food. We are expecting to feed 500 people, but we will prepare for 600."
Ms. Stoner, who serves as a liaison to Shepherd's Staff from Meadow Branch Church of the Brethren in Westminster, said this will be the first holiday meal sponsored by the group.
"We will be serving the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, celery and carrot sticks," Ms. Stoner said.
"There will be pumpkin and apple pies and brownies for dessert and hot and cold beverages. We just trust that the clients will come out and enjoy the meal."
Mrs. Stoner said while she is not soliciting help any longer, any one interested in helping cleanup after the meal will not be turned away.
Information: 857-5944 or 239-3689.
Rumor has it that the chubby guy in the red suit will make his first appearance of the year in the Santa Claus parade at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Cranberry Mall.
Joining Santa Claus will be a cast of Christmas characters to welcome the holiday season.
Attention parents of middle-schoolers:
The Westminster City Recreation Department and the Carroll County Youth Council are sponsoring an activity-filled lock-in at the Four Seasons Complex from 9 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday.
The first-ever middle school lock-in will feature numerous athletics including soccer, lacrosse and volleyball.
A disc jockey will provide music for dancing and middle-schoolers will be able to watch movies and sing karaoke.
For hunger pangs from all the activity, food will be available all night.
The lock-in will be chaperoned by Westminster High School's senior class and about 10 adults.
All county middle-schoolers are invited.
The Four Seasons Complex is capable of holding 500 students for the lock-in.
Students interested in attending must preregister with the Westminster Recreation Department or through the county Department of Recreation and Parks.
Tickets are $10 per student.
Information: 848-6962 or 876-1313.
The Pleasant Valley Fire Hall will present its 10th annual Christmas in the Valley show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
The fund-raiser is sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary and will feature a variety of crafts, holiday gift items, food and a train garden.
The Pleasant Valley Recreation Council also will sponsor a children's room where youth can get "crafty" for a nominal fee.
Lots of baked goods will be on sale, including homemade coconut and red velvet cakes.
Look -- up in the sky! It's a bunch of rubber turkeys!
Your eyes will not deceive you from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Carroll County Regional Airport as 25 of the synthetic fowl will be stuffed, airlifted, then dropped to the ground.
No oysters, chestnuts, rice or bread stuffing in this set of gobblers -- these bouncing birds will be filled with prizes. Don't miss the fun. Bring the family and have a blast catching the flying turkey.
The Turkey Drop is sponsored by WTTR Radio.
Deer Park United Methodist Church on Sykesville Road in Westminster will hold its annual rummage sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Clothes, household items and crafts will be for sale.
Lunch items will be sold and a bake table will feature tasty goodies.