‘Nutty’ Josephine seeks help

Published 8:38 pm Friday, November 14, 2008

Josephine Mosdell has a challenge.

The perennial organizer of community dinners for shut-ins and the less fortunate at Thanksgiving and Christmas needs a new name for her program.

Since they were first held 19 years ago, the events have been called Acorn dinners. The dinners are organized by St. Mary’s Episcopal, served at First Baptist, and also supported by First Methodist, Christ the King Catholic Church, First Presbyterian, and by several civic organizations.

On Thanksgiving morning, volunteers will assemble turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans, dressing, cranberry sauce, Sister Schubert’s yeast rolls and dessert for more than 200 people. The dinners are delivered to those who are unable to make it to the church.

You might think of a church “Acorn” dinner as a symbol of planting a seed, or just a good name for a fall event.

Ask Josephine why it’s called “Acorn,” and she’ll chuckle and tell you, “ACORN. It stands for Assorted Christians and Other Religious Nuts.”

It’s usually good for a laugh. But “Acorn,” isn’t getting many laughs this year.

You might have heard about another ACORN group, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. That group, too, has a noble cause. Organized in 1970, ACORN works at building community organizations that are committed to social and economic justice by empowering low- and moderate-income voters.

According to Wikipedia, ACORN has conducted large-scale voter registration drives since 2004, focusing primarily on poor and minority registrations. During 2007 and 2008, ACORN gathered more than 1.3 million voter registration forms in 21 states. Approximately 400,000 forms that were rejected for various reasons, including duplications, incomplete forms, and fraudulent registrations.

Unfortunately, some ACORN workers have been charged with or convicted of voter registration fraud. ACORN has stated that it supports and cooperates in investigations of employees who submit fraudulent forms, but the fraud is on the top of the minds of many who would support the local Acorn effort.

Just last week, I mentioned the Thanksgiving Acorns in conversation and was asked “Are they part of the voter ACORNs?”

So I was not surprised when Josephine appeared at The Star-News this week seeking help coming up with a new name for her effort.

If you have an idea for a new name for the Assorted Christians and Other Religious Nuts, please email it to me at michele.gerlach@andalusiastarnews.com. We’ll include your suggestions in our daily poll one day next week and ask Star-News readers to help Josephine solve her dilemma.

The person who submits the name chosen will receive a $20 gift certificate to C.J.’s Grille, and is welcome to join the Acorns for Thanksgiving dinner.

Meanwhile, if you or anyone you know would like to have a Thanksgiving meal with the “nuts,” call 222-2487 and leave your name and address.