Faith & Family: Family opens hearts, home to needy

Published 12:10 am Saturday, December 27, 2014

By Morgan Mizell

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ There is always room for one more at the Anderson house.

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For more than nine years, Natchez residents Becky and Michael Anderson have opened their hearts and home to people who need a place for Christmas.

“We are both from very big families and it is somewhat of a tradition that dates back to my grandparents,” Anderson said. “They just brought people into the family that never left, and so we do the same thing now.”

For Anderson, generosity is just part of her nature and at this time of the year, she feels no one should be alone.

She feels certain the family will continue this tradition for years to come, as their children already bring guests during the holidays.

Charity is not seasonal, Anderson said, which is why she and her husband have welcomed different people over the years during hard times.

“We knew a man that had no place to go,” Anderson said. “We let him live with us for a while, because he could not afford anything else. We adjusted.”

Anderson said she and her husband do not have a lot, but they feel strongly about helping others who may not have anything.

Anderson referenced the Gospel of Matthew 25:40, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

“You don’t know when you may need someone and those you have helped along the way may return the favor,” Anderson said. “Of course, we don’t do it expecting a return — we do it because we can.”

Anderson said that the memories of Christmases past are re-visited every year with the arrival of new and different guests.

“We never know who may be at our house,” Anderson said. “I just try to make sure that there is a little something there for them, and I want them to feel welcome.”

Anderson said her church family at Lovely Lane Methodist Church in Natchez has a similar view of inviting people into their home.

“You don’t need to be a member of our church family to come and worship,” Anderson said. “We know that people may not have a place to worship, and we believe that everyone needs an extended family in their lives.”

Anderson said everyone should evaluate their lives and find where they can be generous.

“It is not always about money,” Anderson said. “Sometimes people may just need your time, and a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to.

“Sometimes, people just need people.”