Lodge Worshipful Master Billy Heron said discussion of the service project began in December. The ladies in the Eastern Star recently signed on to help facilitate and finance the project.
“We are based in downtown,” Herron said. “We need to start doing something for the people, whether it is the homeless, the people in the Summit [Apartments] or just anyone in the downtown area.”
Worthy Matron over the Eastern Star Terri Wright pointed out the service projects go hand-in-hand with the mission of both organizations.
“We just wanted to let the community know we are here,” she said. “A lot of our members live here and work here, and our families are here.”
The two organizations purchased hot dogs, chips, chocolate chip cookies, condiments and water bottles for 160 people.
Herron said the project was made possible through the discounted price given by Chattanooga-based Holder Concessions. About 55 people received food by 11:30 a.m. The group of more than 15 volunteers planned to keep camp until 12:30 p.m.
Herron and Wright explained a number of the homeless population chose to eat at the Family Kitchen’s Saturday lunch held at the Salvation Army on Inman Street.
The group was happy for the people they were able to help, especially in light of the holiday weekend.
“We are all out celebrating the holiday weekend,” Herron said. “Let’s do something for those who maybe can’t go out and celebrate as everyone else is this weekend.”
He said the community service project will not be the last active participation by the lodge.
Wright agreed it is important for the organizations to make themselves known to the community through service projects.
“We want to be kind to everybody, not just our families or the people who we work with, but to everybody,” she said. “We feel like if we’ve got it and we can give, we are going to give.”
Continued Wright, “We are going to have more stuff going forward. That is the main thing we want people to know. We are here, and we want to be more involved in the community.
“When we do things, we want people to come out and participate. Even as a community, whether you are a member or not, working together you are going to see good things come from it.”
Both Wright and Herron thanked the volunteers for their help Saturday.