“During a cold day in November, the week of thanksgiving in 1959, we had no heat in the house, mother was very ill with asthma, and daddy had left at 6:00 a.m. for work as he faithfully did every morning, trying to make things better for us. During that week in which Thanksgiving would be celebrated, I was six years old and vividly remember that we had grits but no other food in the house and didn’t anticipate a turkey; we were just hoping and praying for daily provisions.

As a six year old and the second oldest child, I had stayed home from school to help my sickly mother, who had no insurance and couldn’t afford a doctor’s visit. She and my daddy already had five of the twelve Harvey children that would live at 4130 Fairfax Street in Jacksonville. Mother,who later went back to college and got a degee in Elementary Education, was always a good prayer warrior and thinker. She was blessed with the idea of sending my five year old brother, who now owns an insurance agency, and I to Mary McLeod Bethune elementary, where I regularly attended.

With two quarters (which she had somehow managed to save), we went to buy two school lunches. Elliotte and I obediently went to the school lunch counter, without any fear of being harmed along the way, and explained to the cafeteria workers our dilemna of minimal food, other difficulties, etc.; they took our quarters and plates and prepared two hearty thanksgiving meals that we carefully and hastily took back to mother; she heated and prepared the food in a way that allowed all of us to receive something to eat. We were so excited and thankful for that memorable thanksgiving dinner!”

These are just some of the many reasons for which I’m very thankful on this Thanksgiving, even as we enjoy and partake of the many blessings that some of us now take for granted — e.g., food, heat, health insurance, and many other necessities that were not available to many of us in 1959. Therefore, I’m continuing to follow the historic principle from

I Thessalonians5:18,
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”.

Pastor George Harvey, Jr.
Mt. Chairity Missionary Baptist – Jacksonville, FL

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