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Feeding senior citizens in memory of her brother

Everyone was welcome at James Magee’s table. Didn’t matter their color, didn’t matter their circumstance. He wanted to share what he had with others.

His younger sister Karen Henderson is hosting the second annual Spirit of Christmas luncheon Dec. 15 and inviting any senior citizen age 60 and up to come share a free meal with her in memory of her brother.

Magee, who’d been a sheriff’s deputy and a bail bondsmen, died in January 2015 from heart failure. Henderson hosted a luncheon last year and more than 70 people arrived to eat and enjoy the fellowship.

“They were loving it,” she said. “They came in all dressed in their red and green. We had some sit around the whole time and just socialize with each other.”

Henderson is relocating the meal this year to the Jimmy Furlow Senior Citizen Center at 201 S. First St. in Brookhaven. The lunch will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and seniors can eat there or take a plate to go. Henderson is hoping everyone stays.

“They can pick it up, or they can stay and visit and have a good time,” she said.

Her sister-in-law, Linda Magee, helps her prepare the food and other family members and friends jump in to lend a hand, too.

Henderson wants everyone to feel welcome at her table, just like they did at her brother’s.

“This is not a black thing. I don’t want people to think that. It’s for all the senior citizens, no matter what color you are, it doesn’t matter,” she said. “I want to reach out to all the people.”

Magee was always giving to people.

“No matter what the race, he didn’t care,” she said.

She saw him buy fruit baskets, turkeys and hams to give to families. He’d hand parents money to pay for their children’s school supplies. He gave without expecting anything in return. He didn’t want to be repaid.

He was always doing good deeds, but she didn’t hear about it from him. She heard stories of his kindness from others. She wants to keep his memory alive by continuing his kindness, she said.

To donate items for the lunch or to volunteer to help, call Henderson at 601-754-3304.