Helpings of Hope lights up season with food, fellowship



FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The holiday season is now in full swing, and while many are celebrating the joys of festive treats and togetherness, some have to go without. That’s where Brian and Kelly Tam of Tam’s Backstage step in.

Now in its 13th year, Helpings of Hope is an annual program the Tams run to bring in elderly and less fortunate members of the community for a hearty helping of food and cheer. Throughout the entire day, the Tams and local volunteers pitch in to serve visitors from senior centers and nonprofits.

“This is a team sport for us,” Brian said. “It’s a group effort… These are people from the business community, people who work in our school system and people who just want to do good… We try to support the community that supports us.”

Set this year on Dec. 4, the day started with dozens of residents bused in from county senior centers. And this year, there was an extra surprise. One resident, Ruth Waxter, celebrated her 100th birthday during the early lunch.

Organizations such as No Longer Bound and Three Dimensional Life, which help people overcome addictions and restore families, were served next in a new section started this year.

“This is near and dear to our heart,” Kelly said at the lunch. “We’ve had family members who’ve been a part of 3D, and we always support No Longer Bound, because we’ve had family members who have had some of the same struggles.”

Toward the end of the program, Tam’s Backstage served up a hearty dinner for nonprofits that provide temporary housing and crisis support for children and families. Local groups included Bald Ridge Lodge, The Place, Community Connection, Jesse’s House and Family Haven. All in all, Tam’s Backstage fed over 250 people for Helpings of Hope. Brian said he was “just thrilled” that people could come out and enjoy the food and fellowship.

“Helpings of Hope has grown considerably over the years, especially with the seniors,” Brian said. “They really look forward to going out for the holidays and getting dressed up.”

Although the Tams put on year-round fundraisers for local high schools and nonprofits, Helpings of Hope is their biggest event.

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