I Am Grateful For A Caring & Giving Church

Mortgage and Lending with George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages NMLS #65149

Debe Maxwell, CRS is hosting the ActiveRain Challenge the month titled "Thankful Thoughts:  ActiveRain's November Thanksgiving Gratitude Challenge".  This has been an easy challenge for me in the past, because I have MUCH to be grateful for.  For this challenge we get to write one blog per week for this month. 


For my first blog in this challenge I wrote about how "Grateful I am To Be Able To Enjoy Gorgeous Fall Colors Every Year".   My second blog was on the Forever Gratitude I have for those who have helped me succeed in my career.  This third blog is on how grateful I am for the church I attend and God has blessed me with.

I have attend the Meriden Church of Christ in Meriden, CT., since 1984, and in those 39+ years the Meriden Church of Christ has looked for ways to assist our members and community throughout the year.  Sharing, caring, and giving to others, is something we should do year round, and that is what the Church I attend does.  For example we provide assistance to our members, and community throughout the whole year by stocking our food pantry, holding cloths drive, serving food at the local homeless shelter, and holding several blood drive to name a few.  This year we also added an outdoor pantry in which we continually stock throughout the week, and member of the community can take what they want from it all year round. 

This time of the year we put together Thanksgiving Baskets for needy families in both our church and community.  The baskets you see in the picture to the right, with all of the fixings for a Thanksgiving Dinner are put together on the Monday before Thanksgiving.   The only things missing are the turkeys and pies which are picked up on Tuesday just before families come to pick up their baskets. 

The last four years, however, we have expanded the number of families we provide the Thanksgiving baskets to.  By combined our efforts with the Meriden New Opportunities Food Bank.  Last year we handed out 311 baskets to needy families.

We provide the fixings, and they provide the turkeys.   We still put the baskets together on the Monday before Thanksgiving, and then the Meriden New Opportunities Food Bank shows up with the Turkeys on Tuesday morning. 

Members of our church along with several  Meriden New Opportunities Food Bank volunteers, hand out the turkeys to the families  receiving the turkeys throughout the day and into the evening on Tuesday.   This is something our Church plans to continue doing for many more years to come. 

The second is a program which our Church decided to participate in several years ago, it is a called "Fresh Start".   This is a program our Church does in conjunction with the United Way of Meriden/Wallingford.  The Fresh Start program does exactly what the name implies.  The program helps family who have lost their home to fire or other major catastrophe by helping them get a "fresh start" with furniture, and appliances. 

Throughout the year our members contribute funds as well as furniture, and appliances to fulfill the needs of the families in our community which the United Way identifies are in need of assistance.  Members of the community also contribute items to fulfill these need.  One major source of items has been local Realtors who have sellers who are selling their home, and no longer have a need for their furniture.  This program has grown to the point there are times we have to rent multiple storage units to be able to handle all the items being donated.  The funds we collect are used to purchase new mattresses, because old mattresses are not allowed to donate, they must be new.  In the time we have been doing this program we have helped out hundreds of families, and hope to continue to help many, many more.


Posted by

George Souto
NMLS# 65149

C (860) 573-1308
CALL 7 Days/Wk
Fax (860) 760-6891

Email Me
About Me
My Blog

I am a Mortgage Loan Officer who can assist you with all your mortgage & refinancing needs in
CT, RI, MA, NH, and a FL Licensed Lender

I can assist you with your Conventional,
FHA, CHFA, VA, USDA, & 203K loan programs.

I reside in Middlesex County which includes Middletown, Middlefield, Durham, Cromwell, Portland, Haddam. E. Haddam, Higganum, Chester, Essex, Deep River.


Comments (17)

Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening George,

What wonderful activities you and the members Meriden Church of Christ in Meriden, CT collaborate and serve so many people in your community! Well done and 39 years is amazing to be devoted to your congregation and community!

Nov 20, 2023 04:59 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Oh, I love your giving heart, George and what a wonderfully giving church your Meriden Church of Christ is. The Thanksgiving 'baskets' are so wonderful and I know you enjoy giving those out; it always makes me feel so good to see the appreciation in the eyes of those receiving their gifts.

Thank you so much for sharing this post in Novembers gratitude challenge. I believe I missed one of yours so, I'm off to find your 'mentor' post!

Nov 20, 2023 06:50 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

George- I absolutely love that you have been devoted to the Meriden Church of Christ for so many years!!!  I cannot imagine the joy you receive in helping the community. The Fresh Start program sounds like one we could all get behind. 

Nov 20, 2023 07:28 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I'm glad you are part of a caring and giving church, George.  Finding one that you are comfortable being part of is key.

Nov 20, 2023 08:44 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Kudos to you my friend supporting the Church for decades:) Endre

Nov 20, 2023 09:29 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Gratitude is absolutely everything and I’m wishing we were the happiest of holidays and a great Thanksgiving!

Nov 20, 2023 10:47 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

And may I say that I’m very grateful for you and more people like you all over the world and even locally

Nov 20, 2023 10:55 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning George. You are lucky man to have found a church where you can participate over such a long period of time. We have moved several times and not had that continuity. Enjoy your day.

Nov 21, 2023 03:50 AM
Sham Reddy CRS
Howard Hanna RE Services, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks George for your continuous commitment to helping your community.

Nov 21, 2023 03:58 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

Great information. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your week!

Bill Salvatore, Realtor- Arizona Elite Properties

Nov 21, 2023 04:06 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Another great gratitude post - those photos say a lot!

Nov 21, 2023 04:49 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Your church sounds like such a wonderful place!  Wherever God is, it's such a wonderful place!!!

Nov 21, 2023 04:53 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, George... your church is what churches should be all about! Your congregation sounds like a community of the most wonderful, caring people.

Nov 21, 2023 05:11 AM
faye schubert
Retired - Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

Those Thanksgiving baskets look so good and I'm sure the families who receive them will be so grateful. There are so many families in need and GOD BLESS YOU for your church providing in times of need.

Nov 21, 2023 05:34 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi George Souto - Isn't this what the Thanksgiving season is all about?  Your church is very lucky to have a dedicated parishioner.  You, and all the members of Meridian Church of Christ are doing great things for your community. God bless you!


Nov 21, 2023 03:40 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

A strong fellowship at Meriden Church of Christ does so much good for your local community, George. May you always feel the appreciation from all those people that are helped in times of need!

Nov 24, 2023 05:12 PM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Love our Great City - Love our Clients! Buckhead - Midtown - Westside - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

FRESH START really offers a chance to be grateful for all the things we have in our lives, doesn't it? Take care my Connecticut friend ---

Nov 27, 2023 06:42 PM