WILLIAMSON —Jacob’s Well Mission, located on Third Avenue in downtown Williamson, recently served hundreds of free meals to those in need or anybody wanting a hot meal.

Jacob’s Well Mission was founded in 2008 by Janette O’Brien, who has made it her life’s work to serve the hungry and disadvantaged people of the Tug Valley area.

O’Brien says that they served 300 turkey and ham dinners at their 11th annual Thanksgiving dinner, which is always held the Monday before Thanksgiving, and then served 128 more dinners the following day.

Jacob’s Well serves free meals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and serves anywhere from 50 to 200 people on a normal day.

O’Brien says that she had a calling from God, who told her to open a mission and to call it Jacob’s Well. She says with the downturn of the coal industry in the last decade, the need was worse than ever before.

The non-profit organization started out feeding only three days a week and was a rented store front but has since moved into its own building and feeds the needy at least five days a week and sometimes more.

They have since evolved into much more than just a food pantry, as they also collect clothes, sleeping bags, blankets, soaps and other items to give away to the needy.

Additionally, every Thursday and Friday, Jacob’s Well has church services beginning at 6 p.m. with pastors and ministers from the area.

Jacob’s Well Mission operates solely off of donations and volunteers from local churches, business people and local government who help support the cause with food and monetary donations. O’Brien says it seems there is always somebody there to help out.

The mission accepts donations throughout the year and is currently accepting donations for their annual Christmas dinner and other activities. To donate, call 304-236-5955. Donations may also be sent to Jacob’s Well Mission, P.O. Box 403, Williamson WV 25661.

The Jacob’s Well Mission Christmas Dinner is held every year on the Monday before Christmas, which for 2019 is Dec. 23. While usually serving from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., they remain open to serve their holiday dinners until 4 p.m.