Pipeline Workers Get Warm Holiday Welcome
There are 49 campsites at Mill Run's Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park near Connellsville, Pa., where pipeline workers from out of town are staying and not all of the workers will go home for Thanksgiving.
That's why the Mill Run United Methodist Church has stepped up to provide some care this holiday season, the Connellsville Daily Courier reported
Pastor Randy Newell and his parishioners are trying to provide a few of those needs to the out-of-town workers who are building the pipeline over the mountains in preparation for the Marcellus shale industry coming through the area.
Today (Nov. 23), they will be offering their church as a place for the group to gather and enjoy dinner together, free of charge and without the church accepting any kind of donation.
Newell came to the church this past July, but it has been his tradition to serve dinner to those in need on Thanksgiving.
"During a church council meeting we were discussing the idea and (parishioner) Kimberly Shipley came up with the idea to focus on the pipeline workers," he said.
Everyone agreed that there was a need there.
He got in touch with the wife of one of the foremen, who is staying at the RV Park with her husband, to begin organizing the event.
"At first I think everyone was a little leery and wondering what was the catch or the gimmick," Newell said. "They wanted to know the cost or what they could bring, but we told them it was our desire to reach out and offer to them the opportunity to have a nice Thanksgiving meal in a nice place."
He added that the foreman's wife seemed shocked at first, but after a few conversations, the idea sunk in and she made up flyers and passed them out to the workers.
Today, there are at least 20 individuals who will take advantage of the meal, cooked and served by several families from the church.
"We just wanted to give them a nice evening and a hot meal while they are away from their families," Newell said.