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Challenge House, Edgewood Baptist to give free Thanksgiving meals
  • Updated

Challenge House, Inc. and Edgewood Baptist Church recently partnered together in order to give community members something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday.

Challenge House and Edgewood Baptist have come together to provide hundreds of free, hot Thanksgiving meals to senior citizens, handicapped, and other needy families on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.

Volunteers with both establishments will begin delivering the meals to families or agencies at approximately 11 a.m., all across the community.

This year’s Thanksgiving meal giveaway will be Challenge House’s second time the program has provided free meals to those in need.

Last year, Challenge House provided roughly 160 families or individuals. When planning this year’s event, Challenge House and Edgewood Baptist wanted to provide as many meals as it could and improve off last year.

Initially, Challenge House and Edgewood Baptist set a goal to provide 500 meals for this year. However, since the two announced the Thanksgiving meal plans, roughly 617 families or individuals have been signed up to receive a hot meal.

Challenge House #7 Ambassador Jeff Littlefield, who is helping organize the event, shared with the New Era that he felt led by God to expand on last year’s success and reach as many people as possible who are in need of a hot Thanksgiving meal on the holiday.

“I believe the Holy Spirit laid on my heart to try to expand our service and try to provide (meals for) as many people as we possibly could,” Littlefield said. “Michelle Wilson, our executive director was super supportive and the new pastor of Edgewood Baptist Church Brandon Boone — I went to him with it and his simple words was ‘Let’s get it done.’ ”

Littlefield continued to share that as Challenge House and Edgewood Baptist were planning this event and receiving more and more sign-ups for the meals, the two entities learned that more than just those that cannot afford the usual Thanksgiving meals are in need this holiday.

Littlefield explained that roughly 280 of the 617 signed up for meals are going to senior citizens homes, handicapped facilities, rehabilitation centers and more.

Some of the agencies Challenge House and Edgewood Baptist will providing meals to include the Senior Citizens Center, Trilogy Center For Women, Sanctuary, Inc., Coffee Connection, Grace and Mercy and more.

He continued to share that from Challenge House and Edgewood Baptist’s perspectives, learning that information provides them more opportunity to show the community that they care about everyone, which he says is more of their goal than just providing meals.

“That’s encouraging, because our goal is not just to take them a meal and say ‘Here’ — our goal is to go knock on their door and say ‘Hello, how are you,’ ” Littlefield said. “We want to try to spend a little bit of time and pray with them to show that we care. The food’s one thing and that’s great, but it’s more important for us to express that we care.”

Challenge House and Edgewood have received help from several other agencies and individuals throughout the planning of this Thanksgiving event, including Indian Hills Thrift and Liquidation, the Bruce Convention Center, Rotary Club of Hopkinsville, both local Walmart stores and more.

“Something on this grand scale has tentacles all through town and it’s just amazing,” Littlefield said of being able to provide to several agencies throughout Hopkinsville as well as the help Challenge House and Edgewood has received in planning this event.

“It’s a wonderful blessing. We had a lot of volunteers of people willing to get out and spend their holiday serving others and in my mind and our mind, that is a blessing that people are willing to take time from their family to go help another family. That is what Hopkinsville is all about.”

Challenge House and Edgewood Baptist asks that if you know anyone, whether it is an individual or family, who will need a Thanksgiving meal and a blessing, provide the name, address, telephone number and number of children in a family to Jeff Littlefield via text, phone call or email to: 270-874-7018 or jefferylewis5252@gmail.com.

Challenge House adds that if anyone is interested in volunteering for the event, they can show up to Edgewood Baptist Church Thursday morning between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

If anyone would like to donate funds to help Challenge House and Edgewood Baptist with the event, Littlefield asks that you deliver money to Edgewood and label it to be intended for the Thanksgiving meal event.


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Indian Hills pantry offers food necessities
  • Updated

Thanks to a special eduction teacher at Indian Hills Elementary School, the community now has a way to give back and those in need have a chance to get some necessities free of charge.

Cassidy Brown started a community pantry outside the school for anyone to use that needs a little help.

“Coming out of the pandemic, I noticed a greater need in our students,” Brown said in a press release.” Parents had lots of events that changed their lives throughout the last couple of years. With virtual learning, statewide shutdowns, and loss of jobs, it was apparent that needs have arised and a community pantry can help take that worry away a little.”

After seeing a community pantry on social media, Brown wanted to have something like that here.

“(It) had gone extremely well reaching families in need, elderly, and homeless and I wanted to bring that opportunity to Hopkinsville,” she said. “We have a variety of supports in place inside the school to help students and families but this supports the community as a whole. Having a community pantry takes away the anxiety of someone having to ask for help and allows them to take what they need at their convenience. I hope to continue to provide all basic necessities in the pantry along with food items so that any individual in the community can access what they need to meet their needs without having to worry.”

For those in need, the pantry is placed on the Country Club Lane side of Indian Hills Elementary and offers basic necessities and food items to families and individuals in the community. It is available 24 hours a day on a “take what you need” basis.

After just a short time since opening earlier this month, the pantry has really started to take off.

If you would like to make a donation to the community pantry, please call Indian Hills at 270-887-7230.


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AP
How COVID shots for kids help prevent dangerous new variants
  • Updated

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Cadell Walker rushed to get her 9-year-old daughter Solome vaccinated against COVID-19 — not just to protect her but to help stop the coronavirus from spreading and spawning even more dangerous variants.

“Love thy neighbor is something that we really do believe, and we want to be good community members and want to model that thinking for our daughter,” said the 40-year-old Louisville mom, who recently took Solome to a local middle school for her shot. “The only way to really beat COVID is for all of us collectively to work together for the greater good.”

Scientists agree. Each infection — whether in an adult in Yemen or a kid in Kentucky — gives the virus another opportunity to mutate. Protecting a new, large chunk of the population anywhere in the world limits those opportunities.

That effort got a lift with 28 million U.S. kids 5 to 11 years old now eligible for child-sized doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Moves elsewhere, like Austria's recent decision to require all adults to be vaccinated and even the U.S. authorizing booster shots for all adults on Friday, help by further reducing the chances of new infection.

Vaccinating kids also means reducing silent spread, since most have no or mild symptoms when they contract the virus. When the virus spreads unseen, scientists say, it also goes unabated. And as more people contract it, the odds of new variants rise.

David O’Connor, a virology expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, likens infections to “lottery tickets that we’re giving the virus.” The jackpot? A variant even more dangerous than the contagious delta currently circulating.

“The fewer people who are infected, the less lottery tickets it has and the better off we’re all going to be in terms of generating the variants,” he said, adding that variants are even more likely to emerge in people with weakened immune systems who harbor the virus for a long time.

Researchers disagree on how much kids have influenced the course of the pandemic. Early research suggested they didn’t contribute much to viral spread. But some experts say children played a significant role this year spreading contagious variants such as alpha and delta.

Getting kids vaccinated could make a real difference going forward, according to estimates by the COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub, a collection of university and medical research organizations that consolidates models of how the pandemic may unfold. The hub's latest estimates show that for this November through March 12, 2022, vaccinating 5- to 11-year-olds would avert about 430,000 COVID cases in the overall U.S. population if no new variant arose. If a variant 50% more transmissible than delta showed up in late fall, 860,000 cases would be averted, “a big impact,” said project co-leader Katriona Shea, of Pennsylvania State University.

Delta remains dominant for now, accounting for more than 99% of analyzed coronavirus specimens in the United States. Scientists aren’t sure exactly why. Dr. Stuart Campbell Ray, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins University, said it may be intrinsically more infectious, or it may be evading at least in part the protection people get from vaccines or having been infected before.

“It’s probably a combination of those things,” he said. “But there’s also very good and growing evidence that delta is simply more fit, meaning that it’s able to grow to higher levels faster than other variants that are studied. So when people get delta, they become infectious sooner.”

Ray said delta is “a big family" of viruses, and the world is now swimming in a sort of “delta soup.”

“We have many lineages of delta that are circulating in many places with no clear winners,” Ray said, adding that it’s hard to know from genetic features which might have an edge, or which non-delta variants might dethrone delta.

“I often say it’s like seeing a car parked on the side of the road with racing slicks and racing stripes and an airfoil on the back and a big engine," Ray said. "You know it looks like it could be a real contender, but until you see it on the track with other cars, you don’t know if it’s going to win.”

Another big unknown: Dangerous variants may still arise in largely-unvaccinated parts of the world and make their way to America even as U.S. children join the ranks of the vaccinated.

Walker, the Louisville mom, said she and her husband can’t do anything about distant threats, but could sign their daughter up for vaccination at Jefferson County Public Schools sites on a recent weekend. Solome is adopted from Ethiopia and is prone to pneumonia following respiratory ailments after being exposed to tuberculosis as a baby.

She said she wants to keep other kids safe because “it’s not good to get sick.”

As a nurse leaned in to give Solome her shot, Walker held her daughter's hand, then praised her for picking out a post-jab sticker appropriate for a brave kid who just did her part to help curb a pandemic.

“Wonder Woman,” Walker said. “Perfect.”

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


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Marty Stuart to preform Saturday at Alhambra
  • Updated

The Pennyroyal Arts Council will be welcoming Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives as they take the stage this Saturday, November 27, at the historic Alhambra Theater.

Executive Director Margaret Prim expressed how excited the council is for the weekend.

“Everyone is looking forward to the live show Saturday,” Prim said. “Last year we were unable to host performances due to COVID, so it feels great to be able to congregate again. This is one of our biggest fundraisers — Hoptown Holiday Hopfest — and Marty is phenomenal so I know it will be a great performance.”

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives will perform tracks from their “Sing in the Dark’’ tour at the Alhambra Theater this Saturday. Stuart, who is a multi Grammy award winning artist is an American country and bluegrass music singer, songwriter and musician. Since the early 2000s he has been touring with his band the Fabulous Superlatives featuring Kenny Vaugh on the guitar, Harry Stinson on the drums and additional newly added artist. The band’s last performance in Hopkinsville was half a decade ago back in 2016.

The seventh annual Hoptown Holiday Hopfest presented by the Pennyroyal Arts Council benefits the Alhambra Theatre and will feature incomparable musical arrangements from His Fabulous Superlatives, putting Marty’s voice front and center for what promises to be a truly memorable evening of music and holiday magic. All proceeds will go to replenishing the Alhambra, such as investing in upgrading lighting throughout the theater as well as additional theatre equipment improvement.

“We are grateful for all the support we get, and we’re so grateful to be back. Saturday evening will be a two-hour performance filled with great hits,” said Prim. “I can’t wait.”

This event would not be possible without the generosity of the Pennyroyal Arts Council sponsors. The council would like to give special thanks to Bluegrass Beverage, Rogers Group, Hopkinsville Electric System, Pennyrile Rural Electric, Hopkinsville Water Environment Authority, Atmos Energy, F&M Bank, WHOP News Radio, Christian County Fiscal Court, and the City of Hopkinsville.

Tickets start out at $50 and are still available for purchase. Visit pennyroyalarts.org to purchase tickets. For those that rather purchase tickets in person, tickets will be available at the door as well as on Tuesday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 26 from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Come out Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m for an unforgettable performance located downtown at 507 S Main St, Hopkinsville, Hopkinsville Ky, 42240.

After this weekend’s show, The Pennyroyal Arts Council will premier The Nutcracker celebrating the holiday season on December 2, 2021. Though the year is winding down, heartfelt memories will continue to be made.


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