RIPLEY • Singer, songwriter Gerald Crabb rolled back into town Saturday afternoon with a gift for the Tippah County Good Samaritan Center.

The award winning, Southern gospel artist, who lives in Ripley, performed Friday night in Dalton, Georgia at Down Home Christmas. The annual event is organized by Lisa Asberry, who Crabb has known for years in the gospel music circuit. Asberry works all year long holding benefit concerts and raising money to help provide food for food pantries across the region.

Crabb said one way Asberry raises money is through a Christmas tree auction.

“She does a good thing up there. She has Christmas trees and under the trees will be televisions, microwaves,” said Crabb. “There will be a lot of people there. And what they do is they bid on the trees - what they would give for them - and the highest bid gets the tree and all the stuff under it and the money goes on this (the donated food). Places like Walmart donate the TVs and stuff to be given away. It’s a big deal.”

Down Home Christmas was able to provide food for more than 50 groups Friday night. The groups came from all around Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi.

Down Home Christmas donated a trailer full (approximately 4,000 pounds) of canned vegetables, rice, pinto beans, macaroni and cheese, and ramen noodles to the Good Samaritan Center. Crabb said they could have gotten that much more if they could have hauled it. Crabb and his wife, Debi, and Jerry and Chong Stokes were there until around midnight Saturday morning collecting the donated food.

Crabb wanted to thank Mt. View Baptist Church for supporting them in collecting the food.

“Bro. Randy (Hurt) and his church were willing to help and boy they are great. Mt. View Baptist Church really got behind this,” continued Crabb.

“This is the kind of donations that makes sense for the people in Tippah County,” said Good Samaritan Center Director Carlos Langston. “There are people in Tippah County, that if they don’t get food here, they go to bed hungry at night. They are mostly old folks, and young people with babies. Those two categories need a lot of help. This does it. I want to thank you.”

Crabb said that they pledged to do even more next year.

The Good Samaritan Center supported 4,300 families from the first of January to the end of November this year and gave out 325,000 pounds of food in south Tippah County alone. The center has a location in Walnut as well.

If you would like to give a monetary donation to the Good Samaritan Center, mail check or money order to: Tippah County Good Samaritan Center, P.O. Box 76, Ripley, MS 38663; or drop off food or money at 113 Bails Road in Ripley, or at 560 Main St. in Walnut. The Ripley branch is open each Monday 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. The Walnut branch is open from 10 - 11:45 a.m. on Tuesdays and 4-5:45 p.m. on Thursdays. Call 662-587-2063 or 662-223-4411 for more information or to schedule a more convenient drop off time.

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